It is believed that 88 Flight Cadets took part in the Battle of Britain, 24 were killed in action, a mortality rate of 27%
The following is a list of Cranwell Cadets who as pilots and other aircrew flew during the Battle of Britain and were awarded the Battle of Britain clasp to the 1939-45 Star by flying at least one authorised operational sortie with an eligible unit of the RAF during the period from 0001 hours on 10 July to 2359 hours 31 October 1940.
Much of the biographical detail is by courtesy Battle of Britain Memorial Trust: Extracted from Men of the Battle of Britain by Kenneth G Wynn published by Frontline Books in association with Battle of Britain Memorial Trust, 2015. Additional sources include The Battle over Britain by Francis Mason and The Battle of Britain by TCG James.
Atkinson Harold Derrick (9-37) Atkinson was born at Wintringham, Yorkshire on 19th August 1918 and educated at Shrewsbury School from 1932 to 1937, where he was a member of the First XI. He entered RAF College Cranwell as a Flight Cadet in September 1937 and graduated in July 1939.Atkinson joined 213 Squadron at Wittering. He went with the squadron to Merville in France on 17th May 1940. On the 18th Atkinson destroyed a Me110 north-west of Douai. He shared in the destruction of a Hs126 on the 19th and also shared a Do215 the next day. The stay
in France was a short one, with 213 returning to England on the 21st, 'A' Flight going to Manston and 'B' Flight to Wittering.The squadron took part in the operations covering the evacuation of Dunkirk.On 27th and 28th May Atkinson shot down Me109's and on the 29th he claimed a He 111 destroyed and shared in damaging a Ju88. For his successes during May, Atkinson was awarded the DFC (gazetted 25th June 1940).213 Squadron was based at Exeter in August 1940 and over a period of seven days Atkinson claimed the destruction of six enemy aircraft, on the 12th two Me110's, on the 13th a Me110 and on the 14th a He111. In this last action he returned to Exeter in Hurricane R4099 damaged by return fire from a He111 engaged over Lyme Bay. He was slightly wounded by shell splinters in the arm.On the 16th Atkinson claimed a Me109 and another two days later.He failed to return from a combat over Warmwell on 25th August. His aircraft, Hurricane P3200, is believed to have crashed into the sea but Atkinson's body was recovered and he is buried in Market Weighton Cemetery, Yorkshire. © BBMT
Bader Douglas Robert (9-28) 19 Sqn Bader joined the RAF in 1928, and was commissioned in 1930. In December 1931, while attempting some aerobatics, he crashed and lost both his legs. Having been on the brink of death, he recovered, retook flight training, passed his check flights and then requested reactivation as a pilot. Although there were no regulations applicable to his situation, he was retired against his will on medical grounds. After the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, however, Bader returned to the RAF and was accepted as a pilot. He scored his first victories over Dunkirk during the Battle of France in 1940. He then took part in the Battle of Britain and became a friend and supporter of Air Vice-Marshal Trafford Leigh-Mallory and his "Big Wing" experiments.
In August 1941, Bader bailed out over German-occupied France and was captured. Soon afterward, he met and befriended Adolf Galland, a prominent German fighter ace. The circumstances surrounding how Bader was shot down in 1941 are controversial. Recent research strongly suggests he was a victim of friendly fire. Despite his disability, Bader made a number of escape attempts and was eventually sent to the prisoner of war camp at Colditz Castle. He remained there until April 1945 when the camp was liberated by the First United States Army.Bader left the RAF permanently in February 1946 and resumed his career in the oil industry. During the 1950s, a book and a film, Reach for the Sky, chronicled his life and RAF career to the end of the Second World War. Bader campaigned for the disabled and in the Queen's Birthday Honours 1976 was appointed a Knight Bachelor "for services to disabled people" and continued to fly until ill health forced him to stop in 1979. Three years later, at the age of 72, Bader died on 5 September 1982, after a heart attack. He was credited with 20 aerial victories, four shared victories, six probables, one shared probable and 11 enemy aircraft damaged.
Badger John Vincent Clarence (9-31) 43 Sqn Badger was born in Lambeth, London in 1912. He joined the RAF as an Aircraft Apprentice in September 1928. He passed out in August 1931 and was awarded a flight cadetship. He entered RAF College, Cranwell in September 1931 as a Flight
Cadet. He graduated in July 1933, winning the Sword of Honour, and was posted to 43 Squadron on the 15th. At this time the RAF was supplying pilots for the Fleet Air Arm and on 3rd October 1934 Badger went to the School of Naval Co-operation, Lee-on-Solent. He joined 821 (Fleet Spotter Reconnaissance) Squadron on 4th May 1935, shore-based at Eastleigh and at sea on the aircraft carrier HMS Courageous. Badger was posted to the Marine Aircraft Establishment at Felixstowe on 25th October 1937. In June 1940 he went to 43 Squadron at Tangmere as supernumerary Squadron Leader to gain operational and administrative experience. On 9th July the CO, S/Ldr. CG Lott, was shot down and badly wounded and Badger assumed command of the squadron. On the 12th he shared a He111 and on the 21st destroyed two Do17's. On 8th August Badger got a probable Me109, on the 13th he damaged two Ju88's, on the 14th and 15th destroyed two others, on the 16th shot down three Ju87's and on the 26th destroyed a He111 and shared a second. Badger was shot down by Me109's on 30th August. He baled out but was badly injured when he landed in trees. His Hurricane, V6458, crashed south of Woodchurch. He was taken to Ashford Hospital. Badger was later moved to the RAF Hospital at Halton but he died there as a result of his injuries on 30th June 1941. He is buried in the churchyard of St. Michael and All Angels, Halton, Buckinghamshire. Badger was 28. He was awarded the DFC (gazetted 6th September 1940) and also received a Mention in Dispatches.
Baines, Cyril Edgar Joseph (9-28B) Baines was born on 24th November 1909 and attended Haileybury College. He entered the College in September 1928.
He represented the College at Rugby Union and graduated in July 1930. He joined 32 Squadron at Kenley on the 26th. Baines was sent to RAF Calshot on 2nd October 1932 for a Flying Boat course, after which he joined 209 (Flying Boat) Squadron at Plymouth. Posted to 24 (Communications) Squadron at Hendon on 13th November 1934, Baines stay was short and he went back to RAF College Cranwell on 11th March 1935 as a flying instructor. He joined the Administrative Staff at HQ Fighter Command on 7th March 1938 and remained there until 18th May 1940 when he was given command of 238 Squadron, then reforming at Tangmere. He was posted away on 15th July 1940 and is believed to have sailed in the aircraft carrier HMS Argus which left Greenock on 23rd July for Malta. She docked at Gibraltar on the 30th and on 2nd August two Sunderlands of 10 (RAAF) Squadron flew to Malta, carrying the ground crews who were to service the Hurricanes that Argus would shortly deliver there.Baines is believed to have been on one of the Sunderlands and possibly joined the Air Staff at RAF Mediterranean at Malta.
Baines retired from the RAF on 1st March 1958 as a Group Captain.He was made CBE (gazetted 1st June 1953), was a graduate of the Joint Services Staff College, the Army Staff College and was a Qualified AI Instructor, Central Flying School. He died on 20th April 1992.
Barnett Richard Edgar (1-30B) Barnett attended Cheltenham College and then went to RAF College Cranwell as a Flight Cadet in January 1930.
He graduated in December 1931 and then joined 54 Squadron at Hornchurch on the 19th. Posted overseas in September 1932, Barnett joined 6 Squadron at Ismailia on 1st November. He went to the RAF Depot at Aboukir in July 1935. In the Coronation Honours List Barnett was made an MBE (gazetted 11th May 1937) for operations in Palestine from April to October 1936. After returning to the UK he went to the A&AEE at Martlesham Heath on 16th August 1938. When the CO of the newly-formed 234 Squadron was badly injured in a car accident on 2nd November 1939, Barnett took command at short notice.He did not fly very often and relinquished his command on 13th August 1940. He resigned his commission on 11th August 1941. After the war Barnett worked in Kenya and died on 2nd January 1970. © Battle of Britain London Monument Archive
Bayne, David Walter (9-26A) David Bayne was born on 17th April 1908 and attended Haileybury ( East India College ) at Hartford Heath. He entered the College in 1926 and trained there until December 1928. He then went on to fly pretty much every type of classic fighter and many other aircraft types which the service operated during the 1920's to the 1950's. Interestingly, Douglas Bader arrived at RAF Cranwell for his Cadetship in September 1928, so it's odds on that David Bayne knew Bader as a 'new boy'!
His four log books record in unusually exacting detail his years of service ( including all combat sorties ) in India on the North West Frontier & Waziristan. He has also recorded in equally precisely dated detail his entire service career, stations, squadrons, promotions and a complete list of aircraft types flown. These coupled with a complete list of all airfields and landing grounds visited throughout his 29 year RAF career make this log book set an aviation researchers dream. Contained within the covers of these four wonderful volumes is a record of some of the most important post WW1 colonial combat & other flying in British Imperial history. David Bayne will (should) surely go down in history as one of 'the' classic aviators of post-WW1, interwar period, WW2 and post WW2 RAF aviation. Few pilots served with such wide distinction on so many aircraft types, in so many important positions and places, or over such a prolonged period. It is therefore unusual in the extreme that he wasn't decorated at any time. Station and Squadron Commanders of the calibre of David Bayne are almost invariably the recipients of the Air Force Cross or CBE. His flying assessments throughout his service were recorded as being generally 'above average' and he was quite clearly one of the most capable & experienced RAF pilots of his time. David had a serious flying accident while landing a BRISTOL BULLDOG Mk IIa, K2870 at RAF DUXFORD at night in thick fog. Understandably, he totally misjudged the landing, and probably 'flared out' far too late on the approach, if not at all, with the aircraft clearly hitting the runway extremely heavily and still with some flying speed. The Bulldog had serious low speed directional stability problems, so there would probably have been a 'hard bounce' or ground loop with a subsequent total loss of control and an immediate low level stall followed by a final wing tip contact 'flip', impact and slide...possibly inverted .....definitely not recommended !!! The machine was thus written off as a total loss. David was badly injured and lost a leg in the accident. He was then taken off flying duties for just over two years (on half pay) while he attended various RAF hospitals and rehabilitation units. Full of guts and determination, and with the will to fly again he had a wooden leg fitted and returned to flying in August 1937. For obvious reasons during this period he became a great friend of the then Squadron Leader Douglas Bader who of course famously also 'eventually' continued to fly with two false legs. Bader's accident while doing an impromptu and totally unauthorised (nay forbidden) low level aerobatic display was also in a Bristol Bulldog Mk IIa some years earlier in 1931 at Woodley near Reading. By September 1939 at the outbreak of war David Bayne had been flying again for just over two years and was now a seriously experienced pilot and although wearing a prosthetic leg his performance was unaffected. He was then charged with the re-formation of No. 257 Squadron, initially with Spitfires at RAF HENDON. He was given an adjutant, 20 pilots that consisted of 10 officers and 10 airmen, an engineer and 141 airmen. Later the unit re-converted to Hurricanes, so training had to start all over again, and it was with this squadron between 1st & 22nd July 1940 that he flew about 20 sorties of which six were pre-emptive combat patrol sorties and shipping protection patrols in Hurricanes over the Dover area during the early days of the Battle of Britain.These fully operational sorties qualify him for THE "BATTLE OF BRITAIN" CLASP to the 1939-45 Star.
(BENTLEY PRIORY, H.Q. FIGHTER COMMAND) At the end of July 1940, and now being aged 32 (13 years older than the average Battle of Britain fighter pilot) and having successfully (twice) re-formed 257 Squadron he was suddenly & much to his displeasure, ignominiously moved to HQ FIGHTER COMMAND. Squadron Leader Bayne had built a superb squadron that had the dedication and respect of their commanding officer. But it was to be short lived. On 21st July 1940, Bayne informed his officers and men that he had been promoted to Wing Commander and was being transferred off operational duties because it was felt by the Air Ministry that, "it was impractical to have an operational commander with a wooden leg". Clearly, in Bayne's case, there were other factors at play as the Air Ministry had already given a full squadron command to Douglas Bader, who although two years younger, did of course have two prosthetic legs. Pilot Officer Geoff Myers the intelligence officer of 257 squadron said of Bayne, "that apart from using a walking stick he was otherwise absolutely normal. You just could not wish for a better leader, he was just the man that we needed. it was disastrous for the squadron, David had built up a strong relationship with the men". Taking all factors into account It was also felt by the RAF that his great experience and organisational abilities would be better employed in the higher levels of the Fighter Command structure. He was thus posted to HQ FIGHTER COMMAND at RAF BENTLEY PRIORY where he served with great distinction and in a close & senior capacity alongside Air Chief Marshall Sir Hugh Dowding, Commander in Chief RAF Fighter Command during the remaining duration of The Battle of Britain. One can only imagine the heights of combat excellence which David Bayne would have achieved had he been allowed to continue as C.O. of 257 Squadron during the full duration of The Battle of Britain ! Bayne's subsequent service is currently undocumented until 1948 when he was Military and Air Attache in Rio de Janeiro. He retired from the RAF on 29th August 1955 as a Group Captain. He died in Dorset on 11th June 1986.
Beamish Francis Victor (9-21A) Beamish was born at Dunmanway, County Cork in the Irish Republic on 27th September 1903. He attended the Coleraine Academical Institute and then entered the RAF College, Cranwell as a Flight Cadet on 14th September 1921. After graduation in August 1923 he went to 4 (Army Co-operation) Squadron at Farnborough on 18th September that year. In January 1925 he was posted to the School of Army Co-operation at Old Sarum. Beamish went overseas later in the year and joined 31 Squadron at Ambala on 18th November but stayed only for months before moving to 60 Squadron at Kohat. He was back in the UK in October 1926 for a course at the Central Flying School, Wittering. With this completed he went to 5 FTS Sealand as an instructor. On 16th September 1927 Beamish went back to Cranwell, this time on the staff. He went to Canada on 22nd March 1929 on exchange with an RCAF officer. When he returned two years later he was posted to 25 Squadron at Hawkinge as a Flight Commander. In January 1932 Beamish was appointed Personal Assistant to the AOC at Uxbridge. A year later he went into hospital at Uxbridge, suffering from tuberculosis, with the result that he had to retire from the RAF on 18th October 1933. Very unhappy at this, Beamish got a job as civilian assistant at 2 FTS Digby, later returning to Ireland in 1936 to become civilian adjutant at RAF Aldergrove on 18th May. This was a non-flying appointment in the Air Force Reserve. Beamish was sufficiently recovered to be reinstated with full flying status as a Flight Lieutenant on 27th January 1937 and was posted to command 2 Armament Training Camp and Met Flight at Aldergrove. His comeback was complete when he was given command of 64 Squadron at Church Fenton on 8th December 1937. He was awarded the AFC (gazetted 1st January 1938) for establishing the Met Flight. After a course at RAF Staff College, Andover, he took command of 504 Squadron at Digby on 13th September 1939. He returned to Canada in mid-January 1940 on Air Staff duties but, back in the UK, he took over RAF North Weald on 7th June 1940. Beamish flew operational sorties with his station squadrons whenever he could. On 18th June he claimed two Me109’s destroyed, on 9th July a Me110 damaged, on the 12th a Do17 shot down, on 18th August a probable Ju88, on the 24th a Do17 damaged and on the 30th two probable Me110’s. On 6th September Beamish claimed two Ju87’s, on the 11th a probable He111, on the 15th a share in a He111 and on the 18th and 27th probable Me109’s. He damaged a Me109 on 12th October, probably destroyed one and damaged another on the 25th and probably shot down another on the 30th. Beamish was awarded the DSO (gazetted 23rd July 1940) and the DFC (gazetted 8th November 1940). On 7th November 1940 Beamish collided with P/O TF Neil of 249 Squadron whilst on patrol and made a forced-landing at Leeds Castle in Kent. In all his sorties in 1940, he was damaged by enemy action three times, on each occasion getting his aircraft down safely. On 11th November 1940, Italian aircraft based in Belgium attempted a raid and Beamish claimed a probable CR42 biplane fighter. Two days later he damaged a Me109 near Dover. On 10th January 1941 he shot down a Me109 over the Channel. Beamish was posted to HQ 11 Group on 17th March 1941. He was back in action later that year and claimed a probable Me109 near Mardyck on 9th August 1941. He was awarded a Bar to the DSO (gazetted 25th September 1941). On 25th January 1942 Beamish went to RAF Kenley to take command and again flew with his squadrons. With W/Cdr. RF Boyd he took off on the morning of 12th February 'to see what was happening on the other side'. After chasing two Me109’s, they saw part of the German Fleet making its 'Channel Dash'. The ships had been reported ten minutes earlier by two pilots of 91 Squadron but the news was received with complete disbelief at 11 Group. Beamish's confirmation was enough to set in motion a series of uncoordinated attacks on the German fleet. On 13th February Beamish had a share in the destruction of a He115 over the Channel. On 9th March he claimed a Fw190 destroyed and another on the 26th, as well as a Me109. Leading the Kenley Wing and flying with 485 (NZ) Squadron on 28th March, Beamish saw a force of Me109’s and Fw190’s a few miles south of Calais. He turned the Wing towards them. In the ensuing engagement Beamish was seen to be attacked and damaged by a Me109. He requested a vector over the radio and was last seen entering a cloud near Calais. It is presumed that he crashed into the Channel, possibly wounded and perhaps unconscious. He was 38 years old.151 & 249 Sqn kia 28 March 1942
Belchem Lawrence George (9-28B) 264 Sqn Belchem attended Crewkerne School and went on to the RAF College Cranwell in September 1928 as a Flight Cadet. He graduated in December 1930 and was posted to 19 Squadron at Duxford. On 4th June 1933 Belcham went to 204 (Flying Boat) Squadron at Plymouth and moved to 3 FTS Grantham on 3rd July 1934 as an instructor. His next posting was to a course at RAF Gosport on 1st September 1935 and on 23rd October 1936 he joined 824 (Fleet Spotter-Reconnaissance) Squadron, based on HMS Hermes in the Far East. Belchem went to 5 OTU on 7th June 1940 for a refresher course. He flew only one operational sortie during the Battle of Britain period, a convoy patrol with 264 Squadron on 18th July 1940, with Sgt. A Berry as gunner.He was not on the strength of the squadron for this sortie. He was killed over 14/15th July 1942 as a Squadron Leader with 119 Squadron, operating in Catalinas from Lough Erne. His Catalina, AH545, failed to return from an Atlantic Patrol. It was this aircraft, with a different crew, that had spotted the German battleship Bismarck on 26th May 1941. Belchem is remembered on the Runnymede Memorial, Panel 65.
Benson Noel John Victor (4-38B) 603 Sqn Benson was born on 11th December 1918 at Great Ouseburn, Yorkshire and attended Sedbergh School. He entered the RAF College Cranwell on 28th April 1938 as a Flight Cadet. After the outbreak of war Cranwell cadets who had not completed their courses were enlisted in the RAF on 7th September 1939 as Airmen u/t Pilots and each given an airman number. Benson graduated from Cranwell on 23rd October with a permanent commission. He immediately went to 11 Group Fighter Pool St. Athan, converted to Blenheims and joined 145 Squadron at Croydon on 30th October. He joined 'A' Flight of 603 Squadron at Prestwick on 16th December 1939. Benson was still serving with 603 in July 1940. On the 23rd he shared in the destruction of a Do17. His Spitfire, N3229, was hit by return fire and his starboard undercarriage leg collapsed on landing and the aircraft tipped over. On 27th August 603 went south to Hornchurch. On the following day Benson was shot down by Me109's in Spitfire N3105 and killed when he crashed in flames on Great Hay Farm, Leigh Green, Tenterden, Kent. He was 21 and is buried in the extension to St. Marys churchyard, Great Ouseburn.
Bicknell Leslie Charles (1-33A) 23 Sqn Bicknell was born on 9th April 1913 and joined the RAF in January 1930 as an Apprentice.
He signed an engagement for 12 years on 9th April 1931, his 18th birthday. Bicknell entered the RAF College Cranwell on a cadetship in January 1933. He graduated 15th December 1934 with a permanent commission and joined 29 Squadron at North Weald on the same day.
He was posted to 65 Squadron at Hornchurch on 30th December 1936 as a Flight Commander. In April 1938 Bicknell collided with P/O RRS Tuck whilst they were practising aerobatics and although his tail unit was sheared off he managed to land safely. Bicknell went to the School of Photography at Farnborough on 1st January 1939 as a supernumerary. He joined 23 Squadron at Wittering from HQ 6 Group on 20th January 1940 and assumed command on the 23rd. He held the appointment until 12th August 1940 when he was posted away to Fighter Sector Wick for Ops Room duties.
Bicknell later graduated from the RAF Staff College. He retired from the RAF on 20th June 1949 as a Wing Commander, retaining the rank of Group Captain. He later went to live in South Africa and died there in 1991.
Burton Howard Frizelle (1-35B) 66 & 616 Sqn Burton was born in Letchworth in 1916 and educated at Bedford School, he entered the RAF College Cranwell as a Flight Cadet in January 1935. He was awarded the Sword of Honour at his graduation in December 1936. On the 19th he joined 46 Squadron at Digby. In October 1939 Burton was posted to 66 Squadron at Digby as a Flight Commander. On 12th May 1940 he shared a He111. On 2nd June he got a probable He111 over Dunkirk, on the 19th Burton damaged a Ju88 and on 29th July he shared in the destruction of a He111. Promoted to Acting Squadron Leader on 3rd September, he was given command of 616 Squadron at Kenley. Burton had no further victories until 21st June 1941 when he shared a Me109. On 21st July he shared another and on the 23rd he damaged one. Awarded the DFC (gazetted 19th September 1941) Burton was posted away in September for a rest from operations. In early 1942 Burton was posted to the Middle East and later became Wing Leader of 239 (Kitryhawk) Wing. On 18th January 1943 he destroyed a Me109 and shot down another on 26th February. He was awarded a Bar to the DFC (gazetted 23rd February 1943). At the end of his tour of operations he received the DSO (gazetted 6th April 1943) and was posted back to the UK in May 1943. The first leg of his return to North Africa on 3rd June 1943 was from Portreath to Gibraltar aboard Hudson VI FK386 of No.1 Overseas Air Dispatch Unit. This aircraft was intercepted over the Bay of Biscay by a long-range Ju88C-6 of KG40 (Lt. H Olbrecht) and shot down. All the occupants were reported 'Missing'.
Chamberlain George Philip (9-23) FIU An estate manager's son, George Philip Chamberlain was born at Enville, Staffordshire on August 18 1905. He was re-christened Peter by his wife, Alfreda, who thought "Phil" too feminine. After attending Denstone College and the RAF College, Cranwell he wascommissioned in 1925 and posted to Hawkinge, Kent flying Gloster Grebe biplanes. In 1927 he went to the North-West Frontier with No 5, an Army co-operation squadron. Three years later he joined the Electrical and Wireless School at Cranwell. After signals staff postings, he flew Bristol Bulldog biplanes with No 17, then attended staff college. He had a signals appointment at No 16 Group and in 1939 moved to the signals staff of No 18, the Maritime Group. Two years later he left Tangmere to join Coastal Command Headquarters as chief signals officer, hunting U-boats.
Chamberlain was a brilliant signals and electronics specialist and helped to develop the air intercercption radar used by night-fighters in the Battle of Britain. In the summer of 1940 Chamberlain, then a wing commander, led Fighter Development Unit experimental work at the coastal fighter station at Tangmere, Sussex, using early radar sets. Tangmere was heavily bombed and it proved difficult to fly off Spitfires, let alone the Blenheim bombers which had been converted for night-fighting in railway workshops at Ashford, Kent. During one raid on the air-field Chamberlain's car was destroyed. Infuriated, he jumped into the nearest fighter and made to take off. In the nick of time a member of the ground crew yelled at him to stop; the aircraft's tail had been blown to pieces. Despite countless frustrations caused by the inadequacy of the radar equipment, Chamberlain persevered. On the night of July 22 he was rewarded when, acting as Tangmere controller, he brought about the first successful night interception. Flying Officer "Jumbo" Ashfield, Pilot Officer G E Morris and Sgt R H Leyland were on patrol in a Blenheim at 10,000 ft off Bognor Regis when Chamberlain alerted them to a group of raiders crossing the coast at about 6000 ft. Ashfield went into a shallow dive and radar contact was made at one mile. At 400yds Ashfield opened fire. The Dornier was still "bombed-up" and exploded in Ashfield's face, showering the Blenheim with debris and throwing it on its back. It was the first time an enemy night raider had been shot down with the help of airborne radar. For the next year Chamberlain led from the front. He seemed never to sleep, test-flying by day and taking up a Blenheim at night at any hint of enemy activity. Later, improved radar and better aircraft became available, and "Cat's Eyes" Cunningham and other successful squadron commanders developed night-fighting into a great art. In 1943 Chamberlain was seconded to the Royal Australian Air Force to help to develop radar. The next year he was appointed chief signals officer at Transport Command and organised signals on the Empire and European air routes. When peace came Chamberlain was seconded to the Ministry of Civil Aviation. He attended the Imperial Defence College and returned to RAF staff work in 1950 as Air Officer Administration, Middle East Air Force. The next year he was appointed to command the RAF Transport Wing in the Middle East. When local staff walked out, Alfreda Chamberlain organised the RAF wives into working parties. From 1953 to 1954 Chamberlain was commandant of the RAF Staff College, Andover, then headed the adminstration at HQ Fighter Command. In 1957 he was seconded to the Ministry of Supply as deputy controller of electronics. He later served in a similar role at the Ministry of Aviation and retired in 1960. He joined the Collins Radio Company as managing director and was later a non-executive director. In 1968, Chamberlain, who had done much to make flying safer, was fined for flying over the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough without informing control.
Clark, Hugh Desmond (37-38A) Born March 30 1919 attended Wellington College from 1933 to 36 and entered the College in January 1937. He went on to become a King's cadet. He joined 213 Squadron in early 1939 from where he was posted to 85 Squadron in France on May 13 1940. He was shot down and wounded on the 16th and had recovered sufficiently to rejoin 213 Squadron at Exeter on August 19th. He was again wounded on August 26th over Portland and did not fly again until November.
He retired in 1960 as a Wing Commander.
Cox Philip Anthony Neville (9-35A) 501 Sqn Cox was born in Patcham near Brighton on 21st July 1915 and went to Brighton Hove and Sussex Grammar School. He joined the RAF as an Aircraft Apprentice at No. 1 School of Technical Training, Halton in September 1932. He passed out in
August 1935 as a Fitter. He won a place at RAF College Cranwell and started there in September 1935 as a Flight Cadet. He was awarded the RM Groves Memorial Prize in 1937. After graduating in late July 1937, Cox was posted to 43 Squadron at Tangmere. On 17th January 1939 he went to 11 Group Pool, St Athan as an instructor and was made OC 'C Flight on 28th August.
He was later attached to the AFDU, Northolt for instruction on air tactics.In May 1940 Cox was at 6 OTU, leaving there for Hendon on 6th June for onward posting to France where he joined 501 Squadron as a Flight Commander. The squadron was withdrawn on the 18th from Dinard and operated on the 19th from Jersey, covering the BEF evacuation from Cherbourg. It re-assembled at Croydon on the 21st. Cox claimed a Me109 destroyed and shared in the destruction of another on 20th July
In combat over Dover Harbour on the 27th Cox was shot down in Hurricane P3808 by Fw. Fernsebner of III/JG52 and reported 'Missing'. At the time Cox was thought to have been a victim of the Dover anti-aircraft guns. He was 25. His name is on the Runnymede Memorial, panel 5.
Davey, John Arthur Joseph (9-39) 1 Sqn Davey was born in Leamington and joined the RAF as an apprentice in August 1936 passing out in July 1939.
Awarded a scholarship to RAFC Cranwell he began the course which was suspended as war broke out and he remustered as an Airman u/t.
Davis Charles Trevor (4-39B) Davis was born in Cardiff and educated at Whitby County School (although the CWGC has his parents being of Grindleford, Derbyshire and his name is on the war memorial there).
He entered the RAF College, Cranwell on 27th April 1939 as a Flight Cadet. The advent of war caused the course to be shortened and on its completion in May 1940 Davis was granted a Permanent Commission.He joined 238 Squadron in June 1940. On 13th July Davis shared in the destruction of two Me110's and a Do17, on the 20th he shared a Me109, on the 21st shared a Me110 and a Do17 and on the 27th destroyed a Ju87. He claimed a Me110 destroyed on 8th August, two Me110's on the 13th, damaged a Ju88 on 12th September, probably destroyed a He111 on the 15th and damaged a Ju88 on the 21st. He was awarded the DFC (gazetted 25th October 1940). Davis was killed on 26th March 1941 when he flew into a hill coming down through cloud near Winchester. He was 20 years old.
He was cremated at St John's Crematorium, Woking, Surrey.
Dewar John Scatliff ( 1-26B) 87 & 213 Sqn Dewar attended the Royal Air Force College Cranwell from 1926 and 1927 and on graduation was commissioned as a Pilot Officer. On 10 November 1939 he was posted to RAF's No. 11 Group pilot pool for reassignment to a fighter squadron. He
was by that time one of the most senior active duty pilots in the RAF. Dewar was given command of No. 87 Squadron RAF on 29 November 1939 and led the Squadron during operations during the Battle of France, and distinguished himself by his superb piloting and leadership skills. On 7 May 1940, returning from a sortie in bad weather and low on fuel, Dewar had to force land his Hurricane at an unserviceable airfield at Villefranche. As he touched down his wheels dug into the mud and the aircraft overturned, severely injuring his right shoulder. In spite of his injury, he refused to ground himself and continued to fly. He claimed a Dornier Do 17 shared and two Junker Ju 87s of I./StG 2 on 11 May, and another JU 87 the next day. For this and his leadership of 87 Squadron he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO). On 20 May 1940, in the face of the advancing German Army, Dewar ordered his squadron to return to England He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross which appeared in the London Gazette of 31 May 1940. The citation reads:
Air Ministry, 31 May 1940. ROYAL AIR FORCE.
The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the undermentioned awards, in recognition of gallantry displayed in flying operations against the enemy:—
Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.
Squadron Leader John Scatliff DEWAR (26029)
This officer has shot down five enemy aircraft and led many patrols with courage and skill.[
In the same edition of the Gazette he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order with the following citation:
Air Ministry, 31 May 1940. ROYAL AIR FORCE.
The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the undermentioned appointments and awards in recognition of gallantry displayed in flying operations against the enemy:—
Appointed Companions of the Distinguished Service Order.
Squadron Leader John Scatliff DEWAR, D.F.C. (26029)
Before intensive operations started this officer injured his right shoulder in a severe flying accident. Despite this, he flew regularly and led his squadron with skill and dash, more than 60 enemy aircraft being destroyed by them. He remained in command of the squadron throughout the operations, in spite of the injured shoulder, trained his new pilots well and continued throughout to be a very efficient commander, inculcating an excellent spirit in his squadron. He continued to fly operationally from RAF Exeter with No. 87 Squadron during the Battle of Britain, claiming two Bf 110 fighters on 11 July, a share in a Ju 88 on 13 August, and a Ju88 destroyed on 25 August. On 11 September 1940 Dewar took off on a routine flight from RAF Exeter for RAF Tangmere in Hurricane V7306 but he failed to arrive. There was considerable enemy action in late afternoon that day around Southampton, including a low-level bombing raid on Eastleigh airfield by the elite Eprobungsgruppe 210. The timing of this raid closely approximates in time and location Dewar's route north of Southampton, so it has been speculated is that he may have observed enemy aircraft and decided to join the combat on his own. As it was an "unofficial" flight (he was taking advantage of a brief lull in the action to visit his wife who lived near Tangmere), he was not reported as missing until the following day, 12 September, which is erroneously recorded in the records as his date of death.[Dewar was the highest RAF ranking officer to be lost during the battle
His body was washed ashore on 30 September 1940 at Kingston Gorse in Sussex. There is some mystery surrounding his death as some reports suggest that he had taken to his parachute and that his body "was riddled with bullets" when it was found, implying that he had been shot and killed during his parachute descent. There are no German claims for aircraft destroyed in Luftwaffe records, so it remains unclear the cause of Dewar's death. John Scatliff Dewar is buried at St. John the Baptist church in North Baddesley, Hampshire
Donald Ian David Grahame (1-36A) Donald was born on 3rd September 1917, his father was Air Marshal Sir DG Donald. He was at Dulwich College from 1931 to 1935 and entered RAF College Cranwell in January 1936 as an Honorary King's Cadet. After graduation, Donald joined 64 Squadron at
Church Fenton on 18th December 1937. During the 1938 Air Exercises he was pilot of one of a formation of 64 Squadron Hawker Demons that were caught in a dense fog which descended suddenly over a wide area of England on 7th August. They were routed over Digby and then all pilots and air gunners were ordered to bale out. Donald joined 141 Squadron when it was reformed at Turnhouse with Defiants on 4th October 1939. On 29th November he was promoted to Acting Flight Lieutenant and appointed a Flight Commander. On 12th July 1940 the squadron moved south to West Malling. Donald was flying one of nine Defiants attacked by Me109's of III/JG51 off Dover on the 19th. He was killed in the aircraft while his gunner, P/O AC Hamilton, baled out but was drowned in the sea. Their aircraft, L7009, crashed at Elmsvale Road, Dover.
Donald is buried in All Saints' churchyard, Tilford, Surrey.
Dowding, The Hon. Derek Hugh Tremenheere (9-37) - 74 Sqn Derek Hugh Tremenheere Dowding was born on 9th January 1919, the son of Group Captain HCT Dowding, later Air Chief Marshal Lord Dowding.
He was educated at Winchester College and entered RAF College, Cranwell as a Flight Cadet in September 1937. On graduation in July 1939, Dowding was commissioned and posted to 74 Squadron at Hornchurch. The squadron flew over France from 20th May 1940. On the 24th Dowding destroyed a Do17, shared another and probably destroyed a Ju88, on the 23rd he shared a Do17 and on the 27th damaged a Do17 after chasing it for 20 miles before being forced to break off by intense anti-aircraft fire. On 6th July 1940 Dowding probably destroyed a He111 and two days later he shared in the destruction of another. He was posted away to 6 OTU Sutton Bridge on 8th August to be an instructor. He was still instructing in 1941 but became a Flight Commander with 135 Squadron later in the year. He served as a test pilot in the Middle East from 1942 to 1945 and held a number of appointments and commands before retiring on 17th November 1956 as a Wing Commander. He retired 17 November1956 died 1992
Drew, Peter Edward (9-29A) 236 Sqn Drew, the son of Air Commodore HCH Drew, was born on 16th July 1910 and was at Marlborough College from 1924 to 1929. He entered the RAF College, Cranwell as a flight cadet in September 1929 and on graduation joined No. 1 Squadron at Tangmere on
25th July 1931. Drew was posted to the staff at SHQ Heliopolis, Egypt on 28th February 1933, returned to the UK in June 1935 and went to 6 FTS Netheravon on 30th March 1936 as an instructor. He was posted to the staff of CFS Upavon on 24th March 1937 and in July 1940 was commanding 236 Squadron based at Thorney Island. On 1st August 1940 Drew was shot down and killed in Blenheim IVF N3601 FA-K while escorting Blenheims of 59 Squadron who were attacking Querqueville aerodrome.He is buried in Biville churchyard, Cherbourg peninsula, France. The body of his crew member, P/O B Nokes-Cooper, was washed ashore further down the coast and is buried in Bayeux cemetery.
Edwards, Robert Sidney James (1-35) Edwards joined 56 Sqn. He baled out of his Hurricane 1 (P3088) after combat over Portland on 30 September 1940 at 17:00hrs and was unhurt. Died 2 May 1974
Eeles Henry (1-29A) 263 Sqn Eeles was born on 12th May 1910 and educated at Harrow School. He entered the RAF College Cranwell in January 1929 as a Flight Cadet. After graduating in December 1930, with a permanent commission, Eeles joined 41 Squadron at Northolt. On 1st October 1932 he was posted to HQ RAF Middle East as PA to the AOC. Eeles returned to the UK in early 1934 and on 11th February he went to the Air Armament School at Eastchurch for a course. He joined the staff of 5 FTS Sealand on 19th January 1935 on armament duties. Eeles was appointed PA to the Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Cyril Newall on 1st September 1937. He was attached to 6 OTU Sutton Bridge from the Air Ministry on 24th June 1940 for a refresher course and conversion to Hurricanes. He took command of 263 Squadron on 6th July, flying the squadron's first Whirlwind from Martlesham Heath to Grangemouth on that day. 263 initially had three of these aircraft and fourteen Hurricanes. During the Battle of Britain the squadron flew operational sorties with its Hurricanes. Eeles is not shown in the squadron ORB as having flown operationally during the Battle of Britain period but correspondence between him and the Air Ministry in 1960 confirmed his eligibility for the Battle of Britain clasp. He is reported as having declined it because his squadron did not operate in southern England but only from Grangemouth and later Drem. He received two Mentions in Despatches, the CBE (1943) and the CB (1956). Eeles remained in the RAF after the war and was AOC and Commandant of the RAF College Cranwell from 25th August 1952. He retired from the RAF on 29th January 1959 as an Air Commodore and died in 1992.
Elkington John Francis Durham (9-39) Elkington was born on 23rd December 1920 in Warwickshire. He was educated at Old Ride Prep School, Bournemouth, Packwood Haugh Prep School, Hockley Heath and Bedford School. He entered the RAF College Cranwell in September 1939 as a
Flight Cadet. He carried out his elementary flying training at 9 EFTS Ansty from October 1939 to April 1940, when he went to Cranwell for intermediate and advanced training. On 14th July Elkington was granted a Permanent Commission and the next day he joined No.1 Squadron at Northolt. On 15th August he shot down a Me109. On the 16th Elkington was in F/Sgt. Berry's section when the squadron was ordered off to patrol Portsmouth. A large force of German aircraft was met and in the ensuing engagement Elkington's Hurricane P3137 was hit by a cannon shell in the starboard fuel tank and burst into flames. He baled out near the Nab light. Berry followed him and with his slipstream blew Elkington on to land at West Wittering. Elkington was taken to the Royal West Sussex Hospital at Chichester. His aircraft crashed and burned out at Manor Farm, Chidham. After sick leave Elkington rejoined No. 1 Squadron, then at Wittering, on 1st October 1940. He probably destroyed a Ju88 on the 9th and shared in the destruction of a Do215 on the 27th. In mid-April 1941 Elkington was posted to 55 OTU at Usworth as an instructor. He joined 601 Squadron in late May at Manston. In late July he joined 134 Squadron, then forming at Leconfield for service in Russia. The squadron embarked on HMS Argus on 12th August and on 7th September it flew off the carrier to the airfield at Vaenga, near Murmansk. During September and early October 134 took part in bomber escorts and airfield defence. In mid-October it began training Russian pilots on Hurricanes, which were handed over at the end of the month. Whilst in Russia Elkington shared in the destruction of a Ju88.
In mid-November 1941 the squadron pilots began the journey home, making their way in three minesweepers to Archangel, sailing from there in HMS Berwick on 1st December.
134 reformed at Eglinton in January 1942. Elkington joined the MSFU at Speke in April, remaining with it until August, when he rejoined No. 1 Squadron at Acklington. He was posted to 539 Squadron there in September, a Turbinlite Havoc unit. When 539 was disbanded on 25th January 1943, Elkington was posted to the newly-formed 197 Squadron at Drem, equipped with Typhoons. He was warned for overseas in September 1943 and in December joined 67 Squadron at Alipore, India. With his tour completed Elkington went to the ADFU at Amarda Road in February 1944. He returned to the UK for a course at CFE Tangmere in May 1945 and went back to India in July. Elkington returned to the UK on 27th October 1946. He had a long post-war career in the RAF and retired on 23rd December 1975 as a Wing Commander. © Battle of Britain Archive 2007
Elsdon Thomas Arthur Francis (1-36) Elsdon was born at Broughty Ferry, Dundee on 22nd January 1917. He attended Linthank College, Norwich and entered RAF College Cranwell in January 1936 as a Flight Cadet. After graduating he joined 72 Squadron at Church Fenton on 8th December 1937.
Elsdon destroyed a He115 on 21st October 1939, shared two He111's on 7th December and over Dunkirk probably destroyed a Ju87 on 2nd June 1940. He claimed a Me110 on 15th August, two Me110's on 1st September and another two Me110's on the 4th. On this day Elsdon baled out when his Spitfire, X4262, was attacked and set on fire on the way back to Croydon, possibly by a lone Me109. On 7th September Elsdon was leading the squadron. They intercepted a formation of Do17's, escorted by Me109's. With not enough height to engage the enemy fighters 72 went for the bombers, contrary to the usual practice for Spitfires. Leading the attack, Elsdon's aircraft was hit and he was severely wounded in the left knee and right shoulder. He decided not to bale out and headed for Biggin Hill. His undercarriage would not lower and he made a crash-landing. He possibly shot down a Me109 in this action.Awarded the DFC (gazetted 8th October 1940), Elsdon was out of action until 15th July 1941. He joined 257 Squadron at Coltishall and claimed a Me109 destroyed on 24th July, he was again wounded, but not seriously. On 25th August 1941 Elsdon was posted to Kirton-in-Lindsey to form and command 136 Squadron. It became operational in September and in November left the UK for India. 'A' Flight was detached to Singapore and Elsdon and a dozen or so pilots picked up Hurricanes in Cairo and flew them out to Rangoon to fight the Japanese on the retreat through Burma. The rest of the squadron went to Colombo. The squadron came together again in Calcutta in April 1942. It later saw action in Akyab, Calcutta, Chittagong, Imphal and Arakan before disbanding in the Cocos Islands. On 21st August he damaged a Japanese aircraft in the Bay of Bengal. Elsdon was made Wing Leader of 165 Wing, Dum Dum on 8th September 1942. He moved to Alipore on 10th October to lead 293 Wing, took command of 169 Wing, Agartala on 10th February 1943, was posted to 185 Wing, Feni on 8th October and returned to 165 Wing, then at Arakan, to command, on 22nd November 1943. Elsdon was posted to HQ Eastern Air Command, Calcutta on 12th July 1944. He returned to the UK in September.
Fulford David (9-39) 64 & 19 Fulford from Dinnington, Yorkshire was educated at King Edward VII School in Sheffield. He entered RAF College Cranwell as a Flight Cadet in September 1939. The scheme was suspended and Fulford became an Airman u/t Pilot in October. He carried out his
flying training at FTS Cranwell, passing out as a Sergeant-Pilot. In August 1940 he joined 64 Squadron at Kenley and moved to 19 Squadron at Fowlmere on 25th September. Fulford shared in the destruction of a Me110 on 15th November and shared a Me109 on the 28th. Commissioned in March 1941, he was posted to 118 Squadron at Ibsley. On 17th July Fulford got a probable Me109 and he destroyed Me109's on 6th August and 13th October. He was awarded the DFC (gazetted 4th November 1941).
When 118 Squadron did the flying for the film 'First of the Few' Fulford appeared as himself with other Battle of Britain pilots in a short sequence. In early 1942 he was posted to 261 Squadron in Ceylon as a Flight Commander. He was in action against the Japanese on 9th April 1942 when they launched their big carrier-borne air attack on Colombo. Fulford shot down two Zeros in the ensuing action. Posted back to the UK in June 1942, he joined 611 Squadron at Redhill as a Flying Officer
He was killed on 2nd November 1942 when his Spitfire IX BR622 was shot down by Fw190's over Le Touquet. Fulford is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, Panel 67. © Battle of Britain Archive 2007
Grant Stanley Bernard (1-37B) 65 Sqn
Born 31 May 1919 17 Dec. 1938: Appointed to a Permanent Commission.
1940: Pilot, 65 Squadron.
Aug 1941: Flight Commander, No 65 Sqn.
February 1941: Instructor, No 5 OTU.
December 1941: Flight Commander, 601 Squadron.
On April 30th Grant and four other pilots were flown to Gibraltar to lead in a further group of 47 Spitfires, which they did on May 9th from the American Carrier USS Wasp, plus 17 Spitfires from HMS Eagle (Operation Bowery). Having returned to Gibraltar HMS Eagle delivered a further 17 Spitfires on May 18th (Operation LB).
On March 7th 1942 he led the first flight of 15 Spitfires to Malta from the aircraft carrier HMS Eagle (Operation Spotter). On arrival, the aircraft were used to re-equip 249 Squadron with Grant taking over as the new CO a week later.
30 May 1942: Air Staff, HQ RAF Middle East.
August 1942: Wing Leader, Takali Wing, Malta.
19 May 1943: Air Staff, HQ No 203 (Training/Maintenance) Group.
Attended RAF Staff College.
21 November 1944: Command Training Officer, HQ Mediterranean Allied Air Force
1946: Staff, Directorate of Policy (Air Staff).
1948: Served in Flying Training Command. 27 June 1955: SASO, HQ No 13 (Fighter) Group. November 1956: Staff Officer, SEATO, Bangkok. 7 July 1959: Officer Commanding, RAF Stradishall. January 1962: Attended Imperial Defence College. 21 December 1962: Assistant Chief of Staff (Intelligence), HQ Allied Air Forces Central Europe. 24 July 1965: Senior Directing Staff (Air), Imperial Defence College. 4 April 1968: Commander, HQ British Forces Gulf. (CGFG). Retired 6 June 1970 , died 6 July 1987
Hall, Noel Mudie (9-33B) Hall was born in Alverstoke, Hampshire on 25th December 1915, the youngest son of Admiral SS Hall of Hamble, Hampshire and was educated at Hilton College, South Africa.
He entered the RAF College, Cranwell in September 1933 as a Flight Cadet. After graduation in July 1935 Hall was posted to 3 Squadron at Kenley. On November 2nd 1936 Hall went to the Station Flight at Mildenhall and began meteorological duties. For his work there, he was awarded the AFC (gazetted 2nd January 1939). On January 14th 1939 Hall was posted to the Wireless Flight at RAE, Farnborough. He went to 257 Squadron at Hendon at its reformation on June 4th as a Flight Commander. On July 22nd he was recalled to RAE but managed to return to 257 on the 27th. Hall was shot down and killed on August 8th 1940 in combat with Me109’s off St Catherine's Point, in Hurricane P2981. His body was recovered by the Germans but buried as an unknown airman. However in 1948 his father identified his initialled cigarette case, a gold cufflink and watch as his and a correct headstone was installed. He is buried in Criel Communal Cemetery, France. Hall was 24.
Hamblin, Richard Kaye (9-24A) Hamblin was born on 16 December 1906 at Fyzabad in India. By the time of the 1910 Census of Lymington in Hampshire he was a four-year-old living with his grandfather a retired Indian civil servant.Hamblin joined the Royal Air Force in 1926 as a flight cadet. On 30 July 1926 he was posted to No. 56 Squadron RAF as a pilot.In 1930 he attended the Electrical and Wireless School to train as a signals officer. In October 1932 he was posted to No. 31 Squadron RAF in India eventually becoming a flight commander with No. 5 Squadron RAF and was promoted to Squadron Leader before leaving India. In 1938 he was appointed commanding officer of No. 142 Squadron RAF operating the Fairey Battle, this was followed by a staff appointment in the Deputy Directorate of War Organisation.During the Battle of Britain he flew one operational sortie with No. 17 Squadron RAF thereby qualifying him for the Battle of Britain clasp. In November 1941 he was appointed Officer Commanding No. 85 Squadron RAF operating the Douglas Havoc. On 12 November 1942 Hamblin married a Women's Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) Elizabeth Bond at Durham Cathedral.[Hamblin was mentioned in dispatched four times during the war and was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1946. After the war he was back to staff duties including officer commanding AHQ West Africa, AOA at No. 2 Group and Director of Personnel from 1954 until he retired in 1956 as an Air Commodore. Hamblin died on 30 August 1988 in Hampshire.
Hanson, David Harry Welstead (9-36B) He was the elder son of the late Lieutenant Colonel Harry Ernest Hanson DSO, and Ivy Alice Hanson (née Wellsted), of Rolston, Hornsea. Hanson entered Winchester College from Bramcote in January 1931. He was always eager to join the RAF, and in July 1936 went to Cranwell, which he represented at rugby football, boxing and cross-country running. He graduated as a Pilot Officer on December 17th 1938, and served as a pilot in 17 Squadron RAF.
On May 25th 1940, Hanson, flying as ‘Red 2’ in ‘A’ Flight, was on patrol near Calais with Squadron Leader Emms (‘Red 1’) and Pilot Officer Manger (‘Red 3’). At around 1105, six miles south of Calais and at a height of around four thousand feet, the section spotted an enemy Dornier 17 bomber. Hanson’s combat report reads as follows:
“Opened fire 350 yards; bursts of two seconds as range closed. Made my attack and broke away. Red Leader went after another enemy aircraft. Red 3 continued attack. Noticed enemy aircraft top rear gun firing, but this topped after my second attack. Enemy aircraft flying very low over trees and skidding evasive actions. As I made my third attack, noticed grey spray from port engine and a lot of bullet holes. Enemy aircraft then made a crash-landing five miles NE of Ardres. Two occupants ran away from it and machine started burning. Weather clear and fine”. (National Archives, AIR 50/9) Hanson could not claim a whole victory, two other pilots having fired at the aircraft, but this was a confirmed kill. The following day, May 26th 1940 Hanson saw combat again, again near Calais. This time flying as ‘Red 3’, he was at between one and two thousand feet just west of Calais when, at 0550, his section of three aircraft was ‘bounced’ by at least three – possibly more than six – Me109s:
“Returning from patrol of Lille-Arras area when, near Calais, the section was attacked without any warning. Felt a sharp bang in the tail and turned very sharp right, climbing as well. Saw Me109 diving near another Hurricane. Attacked from behind. Enemy aircraft did steep climb to right (a semi stall-turn). Fired several bursts, holding him in sights with very slight deflection. Enemy aircraft went into vertical dive but pulled out with grey fumes coming from his port side, climbed to right gently, and seemed to fall away, but I was unable to follow him further as another enemy aircraft was attracting my attention”. (National Archives, AIR 50/9)
This Hanson claimed as an ‘unconfirmed’ kill: it was probably rated a ‘possible’ or ‘damaged’. On June 8th 1940, 17 Squadron (along with 242 Squadron) moved to Le Mans in Brittany as the remnants of BEF and RAF units in France were evacuated.
The squadron retired to the Channel Islands two days before returning to England. 17 Squadron flew over southern England throughout the Battle of Britain. On 12th July 1940 he claimed another “probable” kill off Orford Ness when, after an attack by Hanson, a Dornier 17 was seen to be in difficulties.
He was promoted to Flying Officer some time in July 1940. On August 11th he ran into 13 Me109s and Me100s and claimed a probable kill of one Me110. Hanson’s Hurricane sustained some damage. He claimed another probable Me109 off Portland Bill on 25th August.
Hanson was killed in action on Tuesday 3rd September 1940 at the age of twenty-two. The Germans were making attacks on RAF airfields in the south-east, their main targets being Debden (to which 17 Squadron had moved the previous day), Hornchurch and North Weald. At 0930 17 Squadron was scrambled to protect the airfields when German intentions became clear. North Weald was very badly hit with over 150 bombs falling, but the other attacks were beaten off with less damage. Both sides lost sixteen aircraft. Hanson was involved in this melée. He was seen to attack a Dornier which he hit – but was himself hit and he baled out of his Hurricane I (serial P3673). He struggled to get out of his aircraft, and, when he finally managed to do so, he was too low (100ft) and his parachute failed to deploy. He hit the ground on Foulness Island from around a hundred feet and was killed instantly. He is buried in All Saints’ Churchyard, Mappleton, Yorkshire, where there is also a memorial to him.
Herrick, Michael James Herrick was born in Hastings, New Zealand on 5th May 1921 and educated at Wanganui Collegiate School. While there he obtained his 'A' Flying Licence at the Hawke's Bay and East Coast Aero Club at Hastings. In late 1938 Herrick successfully applied for a cadetship at
Cranwell. He sailed for the UK on the RMS Rangitiki on 9th March 1939. He began the course on 27th April but with the outbreak of war it was condensed. He was granted a permanent commission on 7th March 1940 and ten days later joined 25 Squadron at North Weald. Early on 5th September Herrick, flying with Sgt. JS Pugh as his gunner, destroyed two He111's, the second breaking up after a burst at less than thirty yards. Early on the 14th Herrick destroyed another and he was awarded the DFC (gazetted 24th September 1940). He may have destroyed another enemy aircraft in December 1940. He damaged a Ju88 at night on 9th May 1941 and destroyed another on 22nd June. Herrick was posted away from 25 in October 1941 and arrived back in New Zealand on 23rd December, on attachment to the RNZAF. On 10th January 1942 he went to 2 FTS Woodbourne as an instructor, moved to 3 FTS Ohakea in March and on 25th June was posted to 15 Squadron at Whenuapai as a Flight Commander. It had no aircraft, its promised Kittyhawks having been diverted to the Middle East. In early October the squadron was posted to Tonga and took over P-40s and equipment of the 68th Pursuit Squadron, USAAF at Fuamotu. The squadron moved to Santo in February 1943 and then to Fiji on 20th March. Five days later the CO was killed and Herrick took command. He destroyed a Rufe on 6th May. On 26th May 15 Squadron flew to Guadalcanal and began operations. Herrick destroyed a Zero fighter on 7th June, shared a Val dive bomber and damaged another on 1st October and shared a Zeke fighter on 27th October. His attachment finished, Herrick sailed from Auckland on 14th January 1944, in charge of 300 aircrew trainees bound for Canada. He left them at Edmonton and continued to the UK. He was awarded a Bar to the DFC (gazetted 10th February 1944). Herrick joined 302 Squadron at Lasham as 'B' Flight Commander. A Polish fighter-bomber unit equipped with Mosquitos, the squadron was then carrying out mostly night operations but in May 1944 it began 'Day Rangers', which were operations flown as free-lance intrusions over enemy territory, with the primary aim of wearing out the enemy fighter force. On 16th June Herrick took off on his first such operation in Mosquito FB VI NS913. He flew in company with W/Cdr. JRD Braham. They seperated at the Jutland coast and Herrick went towards Aalborg airfield. He was intercepted and shot down by Lt. Spreckels of JG1. Herrick and his navigator, F/O AM Turski, baled out but were too low. Herrick fell into the sea. His body was washed up on 4th July and buried two days later in the Military Cemetery at Fredrikshavn. Nine days later Spreckels shot down Braham, who was captured.
Herrick was posthumously awarded the US Air Medal in July 1944 and it was presented to his parents in Wellington on 14th June 1945. Herrick was one of five brothers serving with Allied forces, three of whom were killed. Brian Henry Herrick, also a Battle of Britain Clasp holder, was lost on 24th November 1940. Dennis Herrick died on the 30th June 1941 after being brought down into the sea on the 26th June flying a Blenheim on an anti-shipping strike off Brest.
Heycock, George Francis Wheaton (1-28A) Heycock was born on 17th September 1909. He went to Haileybury School and Imperial Service College and entered the RAF College Cranwell in January 1928 as a Flight Cadet. On graduation in December 1929 he was commissioned and joined 111 Squadron at Hornchurch. Heycock went back to Cranwell on 5th August 1931 as a flying instructor. In January 1933 he was appointed PA to the AOC Inland Area, Air Vice-Marshal Longmore, at Bentley Priory. On 22nd October 1934 Heycock went to CFS Wittering as an instructor. He joined 823 (Fleet Spotter-Reconnaissance) Squadron on 30th August 1935 on HMS Furious and land-based at Hal Far, Malta. On 14th January 1938 Heycock went to the Experimental Section at the RAE Farnborough as a test pilot. He was there until 1st June 1940 when he was posted to 5 OTU Aston Down for a refresher course. He then went to 7 OTU Hawarden on 15th June as a Flight Commander. On 8th August Heycock took command of 23 Squadron at Wittering, leading it until November. After a spell away he commanded the squadron again from January to March 1941. He took command of 141 Squadron at Ayr on 6th July 1941. From August he converted the squadron from Defiants to Beaufighters. On 1st May 1942 Heycock got a probable Do217 at night.
With his tour completed he was posted away on 9th September 1942 and awarded the DFC (gazetted 29th September 1942). Promoted to Group Captain, he was appointed Head of Night Operations at HQ 9 Group. From June 1943 to June 1944 he commanded 35 OTU in Canada. Heycock returned to the UK and on 13th August 1944 became Station Commander at West Raynham. Mentioned in Despatches (gazetted 14th June 1945), he was posted to a Staff course at RAF Staff College at Bracknell in August 1945. Heycock held a series of appointments at home and abroad, his final one being as Air Attache in Paris from March 1959 until March 1964. For his services there he was made a Commander of the Legion d'Honneur by the French Government. Created a CB (gazetted 8th June 1963), Heycock retired from the RAF on 1st May 1964 as an Air Commodore. He died on 27th June 1983.
Hobson, William Francis Cripps (1-29A)
Joined 610 Sqn as Sqn Ldr to command 17.7.40. Posted 10.8.40. Retired as Gp Capt
Hogan, Henry Algernon Vickers (1-29B) Son of a colonel in the Indian Army, Henry Algernon Vickers Hogan was born on Oct 25 1909 and educated at Malvern and the RAF College Cranwell. Commissioned in 1930 he joined 54 Squadron at Hornchurch where he flew Siskins and Bulldogs, in 1932 he joined 404 Fleet Fighter Flight and served in the aircraft carrier ‘Courageous’. The next year he moved to 800 Squadron. After qualifying at the Central Flying School he was posted as an instructor to No 1 Flying Training School, Leuchars.
In 1938 the RAF launched an attempt on the Soviet Union's non-stop long-distance record of 6,306 miles, and Hogan joined 1 Group's Long Range Development Unit. Three Vickers Wellesleys took off from Ismalia on November 5th 1938. Led by Squadron Leader Richard Kellett, the pilots made the challenge even more daunting by deciding to fly in formation. Bad weather over the Bay of Bengal and the South China Sea obliged Hogan to land at Kupang in Timor and refuel but the Wellesleys still handsomely beat the Russian record, covering the 7,157 miles to Darwin in 48 hours. In 1939 Hogan was at the Air Ministry. He was then posted to No 15 Flying Training School as chief flying instructor and moved to 60 Operational Training Unit shortly before receiving command of 501 squadron.
Harry Hogan commanded a Hurricane fighter squadron throughout the Battle of Britain in the
summer and autumn of 1940 as part of Air Vice-Marshal Park's frontline 11 Group, Fighter Command.
On June 21 Hogan was posted to Croydon to command 501 (City of Gloucester) Squadron, an Auxiliary Air Force unit. On July 10, the first day of the Battle of Britain, the Squadron was stationed at Middle Wallop. As the sun rose on the second day of the battle, 501 scrambled to engage 10 Ju87 Stuka dive-bombers and 20 Me109 fighters heading in from the Cherbourg area. In the engagement Hogan lost a Hurricane and was obliged to come to terms with both the numerical odds against 11 Group and the Hurricane's inferiority to the 109.
On August 15, at the height of the Luftwaffe's much trumpeted "Eagle Offensive", Hogan led 501 (by now based at Gravesend) in an attempt to save coastal fighter fields at Lympne and Hawkinge from destruction. Heavily outnumbered, 501 fought valiantly to break up large Luftwaffe formations.
Three days afterwards Hogan and the squadron, now almost continuously in action, shot down two Me110’s at the cost of seven Hurricanes.
As losses mounted Hogan and his surviving pilots grew ever more skilful. Foremost among them was the ace Sgt Ginger Lacey who ignored the flames engulfing his Hurricane and before baling out persisted in shooting down an He111 which had bombed Buckingham Palace. The replacement pilots had an average age of 21 and were inexperienced in combat; it troubled Hogan that they were so vulnerable. Flying Officer Arthur Rose-Price was typical. A former instructor, he joined 501 squadron on September 2, flew a morning patrol, and that afternoon failed to return from combat over Dungeness. Hogan continued to lead the Squadron throughout the daily assaults on London. On September 18 he was shot down by a Me109 over West Mailing. He baled out and resumed command, none the worse for the experience. He completed the Battle of Britain with at least five enemy aircraft to his credit.
It was Hogan's excellence as a fighter squadron commander which subsequently ensured him a senior role in the vital business of training a generation of fighter pilots who would succeed the veterans of the Battle of Britain.
After the Battle of Britain he commanded 54 OTU until posted to Maxwell Field, Alabama where he was a key figure in the Arnold Scheme for training RAF pilots in the USA. He was also a member of the RAF delegation to Washington.
In 1944 he returned home as assistant commandant at the Empire Central Flying School. The next year he commanded No 19 Flying Training School at Cranwell.
After the war Hogan was successively Sector Commander, Northern Sector; Air Officer Commanding 81 Group, then 83 Group 2nd Allied Tactical Air Force, Germany; then Senior Air Staff Officer Flying Training Command. He retired in 1962 and served as Midland Regional Director, Civil Defence, from 1964 to 1968. Hogan was awarded the DFC in 1940 and appointed CB in 1955.
With acknowledgments to the Daily Telegraph
Hogg, Richard Malzard (4-38B) Hogg, of Jersey, was educated at Victoria College there. He entered Cranwell in April 1938 as a Flight Cadet. The outbreak of war meant that the course had to be condensed and Hogg left in September 1939, was commissioned in October and went to
the 11 Group Pool at St. Athan on the 24th where he converted to Blenheims.
He joined the newly-formed 145 Squadron at Croydon on 30th October. In Blenheim K7114, Hogg collided with another Blenheim west of Gatwick on 10th February 1940 but both aircraft got safely back to base.
In May Hogg may have been serving with 263 Squadron in Norway but this is not certain.
In early July 1940 he was serving with 152 Squadron at Acklington. On 12th and 21st August he shared in the destruction of two Ju88's.
Hogg was shot down and killed by Me109's in combat over the Channel on 25th August 1940 in Spitfire R6810.
He was 21 and is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, panel 8.
Holland, Robert Hugh (4-38C) Holland was born in Ceylon and educated at Malvern College. He entered Cranwell in April 1938. The outbreak of
war caused the course to be shortened and Holland graduated in September 1939.
Holland arrived at 11 Group Pool, St. Athan on 24th October and after converting to Spitfires he joined the newly-reformed 92 Squadron at Tangmere at the end of the month. Over France on 23rd May 1940 he claimed two Me110's destroyed and a Ju88 damaged, on the 24th a Do17 destroyed and on 2nd June a Me109 destroyed and a He111 damaged near Dunkirk.
Holland shared in the destruction of a Do17 on 8th July and shared a Ju88 on the 25th. He was shot down in combat west of Ashford on 15th September, baled out and was injured on landing. He probably destroyed a Me109 in the action. Holland was admitted to hospital at East Grinstead. At some time he was treated by Archie Mclndoe and became a Guinea Pig.
On 15th October he got a probable Me109, on the 26th and 1st and 2nd November he claimed Me109's destroyed, on the 13th damaged a Do17 and on the 15th and 17th damaged Me109's. He was awarded the DFC (gazetted 26th November 1940).
In early 1941 Holland was posted to 91 Squadron at Hawkinge as a Flight Commander. He claimed a Me109 destroyed on 13th March, got a probable Me109 on 24th April and damaged one on 11th May.
Rested from operations, Holland was CO of 5 Squadron at 61 OTU Heston in November 1941. He was posted to 615 Squadron at Fairwood Common in February 1942 as a Flight Commander.
In October 1942 Holland was given command of 607 Squadron at Jessore in India. He destroyed a Nakajima 'Oscar' on 5th March 1943. Later in March he took command of 615 Squadron at Feni, India. Holland was posted away in January 1944.
He remained in the RAF after the war and died on 17th November 1954 in an aircraft accident as a Wing Commander. He was in Vampire FB Mk. 5 VV229 of 233 OCU which collided with VV552 of the same unit and exploded near Port Eyon, Gower, Wales during a practice formation attack on 17th November 1954.
Homer, Michael Giles (1-37C) Michael Giles Homer, of Swanage, Dorset was at Wellington College from 1933 to 1936. He entered the College, in January 1937 and on graduation joined 106 Squadron at Thornaby on 17th December 1938.
In early 1940 Homer was with 44 Squadron, operating in Hampdens from Waddington. On 12th April he was captain of an aircraft which carried out a high-level bombing attack on two enemy cruisers in Christiansand Bay. He pressed home his attack in the face of intense anti-aircraft fire and attacks by enemy fighters, one of which his air gunner shot down. He then got his damaged aircraft safely back to base. For this operation Homer was awarded the DFC (gazetted 26th April 1940).
In August he volunteered for Fighter Command and joined 1 Squadron at Northolt in early September 1940. On the 7th he damaged a Do17. Homer was posted to 242 Squadron at Coltishall on 21st September.He was shot down and killed on the 27th, when his Hurricane P2967 crashed in flames at Bluetown, Mintching Wood, Milstead near Sittingbourne.
Homer was 21. He is buried in Godlingston Cemetery, Swanage.
Hood, Hilary Richard Lionel (9-27B) Hood was born on 13th May 1908, the younger son of a theatre manager. While he attended Oxted Preparatory School his father took his own life. His mother remarried and moved to South Africa. Hood had a guardian appointed for him and went on to Tonbridge School, studying there from 1923 to 1927. He entered the College in September 1927.
Hood represented the college at rowing and hockey, a fellow athlete was Douglas Bader. He graduated from Cranwell on 28th July 1929 and joined 23 quadron at Kenley.
In May 1931 he was posted to RAF Leuchars for a course in naval aviation, more training was carried out with HMS Courageous at Gosport. On 9th October 1931 Hood was posted to 403 (Fleet Fighter) Flight on HMS Hermes in the Far East. This deployment took in China, Shanghai and the Philippines until 1933 when he returned to the UK, arriving at CFS Wittering for an instructors course on 22nd August 1933. He then joined the staff at RAF Leuchars to train FAA pilots. Hood was posted to the staff of 11 FTS Wittering on 1st October 1935, returned to 23 Squadron at Biggin Hill on 26th October 1936, went to the staff at 5 FTS Sealand on 15th March 1937 and was given command of the Station Flight at Northolt on 27th June 1938.
Further postings to 5 FTS Sealand and 10 Squadron at Ternhill followed until Hood took command of 41 Squadron at Catterick in April 1940.
During the Dunkirk evacuation, he came upon a German bomber at sea level but had no ammunition and very little fuel. He made a feint attack and the enemy aircraft dived into the sea. On 29th July Hood claimed a Me109 and a Ju87 destroyed.
He was killed on 5th September during an engagement Do17's and Me109's over the Thames Estuary. Several aircraft came down around Wickford, Essex within a short space of time and it has not been possible to ascertain what happened. One account records that he bailed out but his parachute became entangled with his Spitfire, P9428 EB-R, which may be the aircraft seen to disintegrate over Wickford.
In any case his remains were not found or perhaps not correctly identified and he was declared Missing.
Hood was 32 years old and is remembered on the Runnymede Memorial, panel 4. He was awarded the DFC (gazetted 27th May 1941 with effect from 11th August 1940).
Howard-Williams, Peter Ian (4-39C) Peter Howard-Williams was born in Cowes, on the Isle of Wight, December 27, 1919. He entered Cranwell in April 1939. He joined 19 Squadron at Duxford in 1940 where remained throughout the Battle of Britain. He was joinrdx 610
Squadron in early 1941 and later went on to 118 Squadron at Ibsley. He was awarded the DFC in 1941 and appeared briefly as himself in the 1941 film "The First of the Few". He was made Flight Commander early in 1942 and claimed a BF 109 destroyed on February 2nd 1942. He retired from the RAF in 1958 as a Squadron Leader, retaining the rank of Wing Commander. The photograph reproduced and pasted here show him beside his Spitfire after it had been hit with German Cannon Shell after a ‘Dog-Fight’ with the Luftwaffe in 1942 in which he lost all controls and was fortunate to land alive.
After the war, it remained in the RAF and retired with the rank of Wing Commander in June 1958.
Peter died in March 1993 following a long illness.
Howe, Bernard (9-37C) Howe of Wadebridge Cornwall was educated at the Thame School and entered the College in September 1937. He then joined 25 Squadron at North Weald in August 1939 and served with it throughout the Battle of Britain.
On 20th April 1941 Howe was killed as a Flying Officer with 263 Squadron, aged 22. He was killed flying Whirlwind I P6992 which dived into the ground. This has been attributed to either the control cables burning through following an engine fire in the air or a leading edge slat becoming detached.
He is buried in All Saints' churchyard, Wittering.
Hughes, John McCulloch Middlemore (9-35C) Middlemore Hughes was born at Bromsgrove, Worcestershire on 13th February 1917.
He was at
Haileybury College from 1930 to 1934 and entered the RAF College, Cranwell in September 1935 as a Flight Cadet. After graduation in July 1937, he joined 218 Squadron, operating Fairey Battles at Boscombe Down. The squadron flew to France on 2nd September 1939, as part of the AASF. In the fighting in May 1940 Hughes led many bombing raids on German troops and lines of communication. In one operation he was attacked by Me109's and by skilful manoeuvring Hughes enabled his gunner to shoot one down. He was awarded the DFC (gazetted 21st June 1940 In August 1940 Hughes, in answer to a call for pilots to replace those lost in action, volunteered for Fighter Command. On 3rd September he was posted to the Radio Servicing Flight at Biggin Hill but on the 26th he was posted to 25 Squadron at North Weald, as a Flight Commander.
In the evening of 7th December 1940 Hughes was detailed to check the blackout over Peterborough in Blenheim L1235. During the patrol the weather deteriorated and a bad storm developed. Control of the aircraft was lost and it came down near the village of Elton in Huntingdonshire (now Cambridgeshire). Hughes and the gunner, Sgt. JR Friend, were both killed and the radar operator, Sgt. FB Blenkharn, was seriously injured. Hughes is buried in Chilworth churchyard, Hampshire.
Humphrey, Andrew Henry (1-39B) The son of John Humphrey CBE and his wife, Agnes Florence Humphrey (née Beatson-Bell), Humphrey was educated at Belhaven preparatory school in Dunbar
and Bradfield College. He joined Cranwell in January 1939 and was granted a permanent commission as a pilot officer on 30 April 1940. Following flying training he was posted as a pilot to No. 266 Squadron at RAF Wittering in September 1940 and found himself flying spitfires in the Battle of Britain. In March 1941 he was involved in an incident when his engine failed and his spitfire crashed in flames but he survived. He was promoted to the war substantive rank of flying officer on 1 May 1941. On a single night in May 1941 he shot down one bomber and two other enemy aircraft near the Dutch coast: he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for this on 30 May 1941.
Humphrey transferred to No. 452 Squadron flying spitfires from RAF Kenley in July 1941 before becoming an instructor at No. 58 Operational Training Unit at RAF Grangemouth in August 1941. He became a Flight Commander with No. 175 Squadron flying Hurricanes from RAF Warmwell in March 1942 and was promoted to the war substantive rank of flight lieutenant on 1 May 1942 before returning to RAF Grangemouth in July 1942. Awarded the Air Force Cross on 1 January 1943, he attended the Low Attack Instructor's School at RAF Milfield in early 1943. He became a Flight Commander with No. 6 Squadron flying Hurricanes in North Africa in July 1943 and was promoted to flight lieutenant on a permanent basis on 7 September 1943. He became an instructor at No. 5 Middle East Training School at RAF Shallufa in Egypt in January 1944 before being posted to the staff at RAF Nicosia in Cyprus in June 1944 and then to the staff at RAF Ranchi in India in November 1944. He was awarded a Bar to the Air Force Cross on 1 January 1945, and promoted to the war substantive rank of squadron leader on 20 February 1945.
Humphrey was appointed Air Aide-de-Camp to the Queen on 31 March 1974 and Chief of the Air Staff on 1 April 1974. As Chief of the Air Staff he advised the new Labour Government on the implementation of their latest Defence Review. Following promotion to Marshal of the Royal Air Force on 6 August 1976, Humphrey was appointed Chief of the Defence Staff on 24 October 1976. However he only served in that role for only three months before catching pneumonia following a visit to British forces in Norway during a particularly cold Winter. He died in the RAF Hospital at Halton on 24 January 1977.
Jones, John Sinclair Bucknall (1-38B) Jones, of Marlborough, Wiltshire was the only son of Group Captain JHO Jones. He was educated at Canford School and entered RAF College Cranwell in January 1938 as an Honorary Kings Cadet. He was awarded the RM Groves Memorial
After the outbreak of war Cranwell cadets who had not completed their courses were enlisted in the regular RAF on 7th September 1939 as Airmen u/t Pilots. Jones graduated on 1st October 1939 and was granted a permanent commission. He joined 152 Squadron, then reforming at Acklington. On 27th February 1940 he shared, with P/O TS Wildblood, in the destruction of a He111 which crashed into the sea ten miles east of Coquet Island, Northumberland. On 12th July 1940 152 moved south to Warmwell. On the 25th Jones destroyed a Me109 in the Portland area. On 11th August he was shot down in combat with Me109's in mid-Channel in Spitfire R6614. He baled out but was killed. Jones was 21. His body was washed up in France and he is buried in Sainte Marie Cemetery, Le Havre, France.
Kelly, Dillon Piers Denis Gerard (9-33A)
Kingcome, Charles Brian Fabris (9-36B) Kingcome entered the RAF Royal Air Force College Cranwell, Cranwell in 1936. At the outbreak of the Second World War, Kingcome was based at Hornchurch Airfield serving with No. 65 Squadron RAF. He took part in the battle of France and the battle of Dunkirk; scoring no victories. He was then posted to No. 92 Squadron, RAF Tangmere in May 1940, where he assumed temporary command over No. 92 Squadron after the loss of their
Squadron leader Roger Bushell over the skies of Calais on 23 May 1940. During his time at No. 92 Squadron, Kingcome became acquainted with Geoffrey Wellum. Wellum, who flew as wingman to Flight Lieutenant Brian Kingcome, 92 Squadron’s acting CO (the Squadron lost 2 new COs within days of their arrival and Brian Kingcome led the Squadron temporarily in the absence of a squadron commander) later recorded his experiences in the book First Light. Kingcome was acting CO of No. 92 Squadron until Sqn Ldr Johnny Kent a Canadian, arrived. In early 1941, after Kent was transferred, Kingcome received full command . During this time he and his pilots achieved the highest success rate of any squadron in the entire Battle of Britain. After serving with 92 Squadron, Kingcome was briefly posted as flight commander at No 61 Operational Training Unit in late 1941. In February 1942, he returned to operations as CO of No. 72 Squadron RAF. Almost immediately he was ordered to provide escort cover for the ill-fated Fleet Air Arm Swordfish attack on the German capital ship Gneisenau, the cruiser ship Prinz Eugen and the capital ship Scharnhorst as they sailed through the Channel in an attempt to reach Kiel, Germany during operation Channel Dash. He then became Wing Leader at Kenley in June 1942, and late in the year posted to the Fighter Leader's School at RAF Charmy Down. In May 1943 he was posted to North Africa to command No. 244 Wing RAF and in September he was promoted to Group Captain at the age of 25. With 244 Wing, Kingcome found himself leading five Spitfire squadrons: No. 92 Squadron RAF, No. 145 Squadron RAF, No. 601 Squadron RAF, No. 417 Squadron RCAF and No. 1 Squadron SAAF during the Italian Campaign. In October, he attended the RAF Staff College at Haifa. On completion, Kingcome was appointed Senior Air Staff Officer in No. 205 Group, which comprised all of the RAF heavy bomber squadrons in the theatre. In spite of his staff position, Kingcome flew several missions as a waist-gunner in a B-24 Liberator over northern Yugoslavia. He remained in Italy after the war as CO of No. 324 Wing, again on fighters. In mid 1946 he returned to the UK and the Staff College for two years. Flight Lieutenant Brian Kingcome (left), commanding officer of No. 92 Squadron Royal Air Force and his wingman, Flying Officer Geoffrey Wellum, next to a Supermarine Spitfire at RAF Biggin Hill, Kent, 1941. Kingcome flew Spitfires in combat continually until the end of 1944, his tally finishing at 8 and 3 shared destroyed, plus a score of probables and damaged. One of the prewar Cranwell elite, Kingcome was to become one of the Second World War's great fighter leaders, alongside Douglas Bader, Robert Stanford Tuck and Johnnie Johnson.
Lecky, John Gage ( 4-39) Lecky was born in Yokohama, Japan where his father was Language Officer at the British Embassy. He was educated at Highfield Preparatory School, Liphook and Wrekin College, Shropshire. Lecky entered the College in April 1939 as a Flight Cadet. The normal course
was shortened because of the war and he was commissioned in March 1940.
His first posting was to an army co-operation squadron and he then joined 610 Squadron at Biggin Hill in August. Lecky moved to 41 Squadron at Hornchurch on 2nd October 1940.
Nine days later (11/10/40) he was shot down in combat with Me109's and although he baled out he was killed. His Spitfire, P9447, crashed at Preston Hall, Maidstone.
Lecky was 19. He is buried in All Saints' churchyard, Tilford, Surrey.
Lee, Richard Hugh Antony (9-35C) Richard Hugh Antony Lee was born in London in 1917 and educated at Charterhouse School. He entered the RAF College, Cranwell in September 1935 as a Flight Cadet and graduated in July 1937.
On 1st June 1938 he joined 85 Squadron, then reforming at Debden. Lee went to France with the squadron at the outbreak of war.
He destroyed a He111 over Boulogne on 21st November 1939, 85's first victory. Lee was awarded the DFC (gazetted 8th March 1940). On 10th May 1940 he claimed a Hs126 destroyed, shared a Ju86 and damaged a Ju88. On the 11th, after shooting down two enemy aircraft, he was himself shot down by flak and captured. Lee escaped and made his way back to his squadron. On 22nd May 85 withdrew to Debden. Flying with 56 Squadron over Dunkirk on the 27th, Lee was shot down into the sea and was picked up after an hour in the water. He was awarded the DSO (gazetted 31st May 1940). Back with 85 Squadron in August 1940, Lee was last seen in pursuit of an enemy formation thirty miles off the east coast on the 18th. Lee was not heard of again and is remembered on the Runnymede Memorial, Panel 6. He was 23 years old. At the time of his death Lee was an Acting Flight Lieutenant. He is believed to have destroyed at least nine enemy aircraft.
Leigh, Rupert Henry Archibald (1-30A)Squadron Leader (later Air Commodore) Rupert Henry Archibald Leigh (1912-1991). Leigh commanded 66 Squadron from April to October 1940; before the war, he was friends with Douglas Bader; "he was given the task of conducting Bader's test flight having been given clearance by the Central Medical Establishment. Conducting the test in a Harvard, equipped with toe brakes which Bader would be unable to operate with his artificial legs, Leigh operated these for him knowing that on operations Bader would be flying Spitfires or Hurricanes which were fitted with hand operated brakes." As a pre-war regular, Leigh was a skilled tactician who evinced a preference for head-on attacks from slightly below enemy formations -- where defensive fire would be weakest. He finished the war with 1.5 victories.
Lister, Robert Charles Franklin (9-32A) Lister was born on 23rd August 1913 and attended Cheltenham College from 1927 to 1932. He entered Cranwell in September 1932 won the Groves Memorial Prize in 1934 and, after graduating, he joined 13 (Army Co-operation) Squadron at Netheravon on 28th July 1934.
Lister was posted to 20 (Army Co-Operation) Squadron at Peshawar on 28th February 1935. In 1937 he was supporting the Army, operating in the mountains of Waziristan against tribesmen led by the Fakir of Ipi. Lister was awarded the DFC (gazetted 16th August 1938) for gallant and distinguished service in operations in Waziristan from 16th September to 15th December 1937 He received a Mention in Despatches (gazetted 18th February 1938).
Back in the UK, Lister was posted to CFS Upavon for an instructors course, after which he went to 10 FTS Tern Hill. On 2nd January 1939 he was made Adjutant of 614 Squadron, Auxiliary Air Force at Cardiff.
In late 1939 Lister crashed during take-off with engine failure and fractured his spine. He was in plaster for nine months and was given a temporary job at the Air Ministry. Lister was cleared for flying duties in August 1940 and asked for a posting to Fighter Command. He was posted to 7 OTU Hawarden, converted to Spitfires and then took temporary command of 41 Squadron at Hornchurch on 8th September.
He was shot down on the 14th whilst flying at the rear of a squadron formation in Spitfire R6605, by a Me109 out of the evening sun that no-one had spotted. Lister baled out when the aircraft caught fire, slightly wounded in the arm. On the 22nd he was attached to 92 Squadron at Biggin Hill as a supernumerary. Shortly after Lister's arrival the CO was burned and Lister took command.
On 24th September 92 was scrambled to be part of a 'Big Wing' of three squadrons. Time was wasted and it met a formation of nine Ju88's with a 100+ Me109 escort, head-on and slightly below. After a general break Lister, in X4427, found himself alone and being circled by some nine Me109's. He was eventually hit by a cannon shell in the bottom of the cockpit and wounded in both legs. He went into a spin, managed to get back to Biggin Hill but had only one flap working, causing him to go out of control into a skidding diving turn which fortunately took the Spitfire into a valley below the level of the airfield. Lister regained control, made a landing without flaps and stopped ten yards short of a wood at the far end.
After long hospital treatment Lister was declared medically unfit for flying duties in June 1941 and posted to the Operations Room at Biggin Hill as Controller. In April 1942 he became SASO at HQ 219 Group at Alexandria and in October 1943 became CO 209 Group at Haifa.
From September 1944 until July 1945 Lister was on the staff at Air HQ Eastern Mediterranean, after which he commanded RAF Amman, Jordan until March 1946, when he was posted back to the UK. Lister later commanded RAF Wattisham and was subsequently SOA at HQ 64 Group. He was Station Commander at RAF Newton when he retired on 31st October 1954 as a Wing Commander, retaining the rank of Group Captain.
He died in March 1998.
Lumsden, Dugald Thomas Moore (1-39B) Lumsden was born on 27th June 1920 and educated at Deytheur Grammar School. He entere Cranwell in January 1939. The course was shortened because of the war and, after being commissioned in December 1939, Lumsden joined the recently-reformed 236 Squadron at Martlesham Heath on 4th January 1940.
After operating with Fighter Command in July 1940, the squadron moved to St. Eval in early August and rejoined Coastal Command.
On 9th November1940 Heinkel He111H-4 1T + FH 6951 of 1./KGr. 126 was attacked by Lumsden, flying with Sgt CM Gibbons and Sgt EE Miles. It jettisoned its torpedo but then crashed into the sea off Brest.Flgr. O Skusa was killed, Fw. P Hermsen missing, Fw. W von Livonius and Oblt. H. Lorenz both rescued by Seenotdienst. The body of Skusa was later washed ashore in Brittany.
In July 1941 Lumsden was posted to 2 (Coastal) OTU at Catfoss, as an instructor. Whilst there he converted to Beaufighters and in late May 1942 returned to operations, joining 248 Squadron at Dyce.
On 11th July 1942 Lumsden was shot down by Me109’s off Trondheim and captured. At some time he was held in Stalag Luft III. Liberated in May 1945, Lumsden joined 254 Squadron in September, flying Beaufighters.
He stayed on in the RAF, was made and MBE (gazetted 1st June 1953) and retired on 16th May 1964 as a Wing Commander.
MacDonell, Aeneas Ranald Donald (9-32B) Born in Baku, Southern Russia, where his father, Ranald MacDonell, was British vice-consul, he was educated at Hurstpierpoint College in Sussex, where he captained the Rugby XV and Shooting Eight. He qualified as a fighter pilot at from the College and was Flight Commander at No 13 Flying Training School, Drem, East Lothian when war broke out. Aged 25 and with the rank of
Squadron Leader, he led No 64 Squadron of Spitfire fighters from Kenley in Surrey. He was never far from the thick of the action and within one month he had downed eight enemy aircraft in dog-fights with three other possible kills, a feat that won him the Distinguished Flying Cross. His luck ran out in March 1941 when he was shot down over the Channel and had to ditch in the sea where he was picked up by a German E-boat. He was a PoW for the rest of the war and became adjutant in charge of the Allied prisoners at Stalag Luft III. From there he helped organise repeated freedom bids, including the famed ''Wooden Horse'' escape, when prisoners used a vaulting horse as a cover for the tunnel they were digging under the perimeter fence, an episode which became the basis for a book and film.
It was while a PoW that he inherited the clan chiefdom, and after the war held appointments in the War Office and was Chief Flying Instructor at RAF Cranwell. After a year at Cambridge reading Russian, he was promoted to Air Commodore and sent as the Air Attache to the British Embassy in Moscow, where his knowledge of the language and the country made him an ideal choice for his Cold War ''spy'' activities. He was made a companion of the Order of the Bath in 1964 after four years at the still-fledgling Ministry of Defence, which exercised his diplomatic skills. On retirement from the MoD, he moved into the construction industry, finally retiring in 1981 to Fortrose, where he was known simply as Donald and a popular figure in the village.
MacDonell CB, DFC, 22nd Chief of Glengarry; born November 15, 1913, died June 7, 1999
MacDougall, Ian Neil (4-38A) 141 Sqn Later in Malta
Marrs, Eric Simcox (4-39B) Marrs was born in Dover on 9th July 1921 and educated at Dauntseys School. He entered the RAF College Cranwell in April 1939. He was awarded a Permanent Commission on 7th March 1940 and joined 152 Squadron ten days later.
On 13th August Marrs claimed a Me110 destroyed, on the 16th a probable He111, on the 18th a Ju87 destroyed, on the 22nd a shared Do17, on the 25th a Me110, on 17th September a shared Ju88, on the 25th two He111's and a Me110 damaged, on the 27th a Ju88 destroyed, on 7th October a Me110 destroyed and another damaged, on 14th November a Ju88 shared and on the 28th a Me109 destroyed. Marrs shared a Do17 north of Warmwell on 4th January 1941. He was awarded the DFC (gazetted 7th January 1941) and became a Flight Commander in April. He shared a He111 over the Scilly Isles on 18th July. The squadron provided close escort for Hampdens detailed to bomb the Scharnhorst and Gneisnau at Brest on 24th July 1941. Heavy flak was encountered over the target and Marrs was shot down in Spitfire IIA P7881 and killed. He is buried in Kerfautras Cemetery, Brest, France.
McKenzie John Woffenden (1-38) McKenzie of Johannesburg, South Africa was educated at Aberdeen Grammar School, Scotland. He entered Cranwell on 1st January 1938 as a Flight Cadet.
He graduated on 30th September 1939 and the next day joined 263 Squadron, then reforming at Filton with Gladiators. On 21st April 1940 the squadron flew to Prestwick and embarked on HMS Glorious for Norway. It flew off on the 25th and landed on Lake Lesjeskogen. McKenzie flew a defensive patrol along Romsdal Valley on the 26th, the squadron was withdrawn to Veblungsnes on the 27th and on the 28th was evacuated from Aandalsnes and then re-embarked for return to the UK.
McKenzie was posted to 111 Squadron at Wick on 10th May 1940. During a combat off Margate on 11th August he is believed to have been shot down by Me109's. His Hurricane, P3922, crashed into the sea and he was reported Missing.
He was 20 and is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, panel 9.
Measures, William Edward Geoffrey (9-35B) 74 & 238 Sqns
Miley, Miles John (9-36C) Miley was the elder son of Group Captain AJ Miley OBE, Air Attache in Buenos Aires in September 1940. He was born in 1918 and educated at Sherborne School. He entered RAF College, Cranwell in September 1936 as a Flight Cadet. On graduation in July 1938
he joined 25 Squadron at Hawkinge. Miley was still with the squadron in early July 1940. He was attached to the Air Fighting Development Unit at Northolt on 15th August. In the early evening of 15th September 1940 Miley was flying as a passenger in Beaufighter R2067 from North Weald, with F/O HMS Lambert as pilot and LAC JP Wyatt as crew. The aircraft crashed near Kenley aerodrome at 6.20 pm and all three men on board were killed. It has never been established whether the crash was an accident or the result of enemy action. On that day Feldwebel Neuhoff of JG53 claimed a Blenheim destroyed but none was reported lost on the 15th. It is possible that he may have mistaken the Beaufighter for a Blenheim, if indeed he did shoot it down. Miley was 22. He is buried in St Andrew's churchyard, North Weald, Essex.
Montagu, George Wroughton (1-30C)
More, James Winter Carmichael (9-28A) James Winter Carmichael More was born in 1910 and educated at Haileybury College. He entered RAF College, Cranwell in September 1928 as a Flight Cadet. On graduation in July 1930 he joined 54 Squadron at Hornchurch, moving on 12th
February 1932 to 403 (Fleet Fighter) Flight on HMS Hermes in the Far East. After return to the UK More joined the staff at RAF College, Cranwell on 22nd October 1934. In mid-April 1935 he was posted to 43 Squadron at Tangmere and appointed 'B' Flight Commander in January 1936. He returned to the FAA in December 1936, joining 800 (Fleet Fighter) Squadron, based at Southampton and on HMS Courageous. In this aircraft carrier before the war there was a plaque on the flight deck to commemorate More landing on in a Fury, a feat which amazed the Navy.
On 24th October 1938 More went to SHQ RAF Cottesmore. He was given command of 73 Squadron in France, arriving at Rouvres on 13th April 1940. He destroyed a Me109 and probably a Me110 on the 21st, destroyed a He111 and shared another on 10th May, destroyed a He111 on the 13th, a Ju87 on the 14th, shared a He111 on the 15th, destroyed a Ju87 on the 17th and on the 21st he destroyed six enemy aircraft, one each on six sorties. More was awarded the DFC (gazetted 30th July 1940). He was promoted to Acting Wing Commander on 8th August and posted away to HQ 9 Group on 4th September. More was a Sector Commander in 1941 and in July was badly injured when he crashed in a Beaufighter. He was made an OBE (gazetted 1st January 1942). In late 1941 More was posted to the Far East. He was a Group Captain SASO in January 1943. On the 22nd of the month he went to Maungdaw airfield to brief crews for an attack on Prome and other targets. On impulse, he decided to fly with 615 Squadron on the sortie, taking the aircraft of a Flight Sergeant. In the attack More's Hurricane was hit by ground fire and crashed on the opposite side of the river tram Prome itself. He was seen to be standing by his aircraft and was later reported captured by the Japanese. After making a nuisance of himself to his captors, More was sent by sea to Japan in 1944. His ship, the Rakuyo Maru, was torpedoed and sunk by the US submarine Sealion on 12th September 1944.
Died whilst a POW
O’Brian, Peter Geoffrey St George (1-36A)
Peel, John Ralph, Alexander (9-30A) Retired 1948
Pemberton, David Alwyne (1-31C) Pemberton was born in Stratford-on-Avon in 1912 and educated at Stowe School.
He entered the RAF
College, Cranwell in January 1931 as a Flight Cadet. On graduation in December 1932 he joined 99 Squadron at Upper Heyford.
In March 1934 Pemberton was posted to HQ Palestine and Transjordan in Jerusalem. He returned to the UK in September 1936 and was supernumerary at No. 1 RAF Depot Uxbridge until posted to the staff of 601 Squadron, Auxiliary Air Force on 22nd July 1937. Pemberton was appointed a Flying Examining Officer at 26 (Training) Group on 16th September 1938.In 1940 he was serving with HQ 67 Wing in France and on 23rd May he took command of No. 1 Squadron. The squadron was withdrawn to Tangmere on 17th June 1940. On 16th August Pemberton claimed a He111 destroyed. His Hurricane, P2751, was set alight by return fire in this engagement but he returned safely to Northolt. On the 18th Pemberton destroyed a Me109. He was awarded the DFC (gazetted 1st October 1940).At dawn on 3rd November 1940 Pemberton was flying back from Collyweston to Wittering in Hurricane I P2751. He was killed when he slow-rolled and flew into the ground. Pemberton was 28. He is buried in the churchyard of St. Eadburgh at Broadway, Worcestershire.
Powell Robin Peter Reginald (9-34B) Powell was born on 30th September 1916 and educated at Charterhouse School. He entered the College in 1st September 1934 and he graduated on 31st July 1936. Powell joined 111 Squadron at Northolt on 1st August 1936 and went to 213 Squadron at its formation at Northolt on 8th March 1937.
Powell later rejoined 111 and was 'A' Flight Commander at the outbreak of war. On 13th January 1940 he shared in destroying a He111 near Farne Island and on 10th April he shared another at Scapa Flow.
During the May blitzkrieg 111 Squadron flew patrols over France from Northolt, its pre-war station.
Powell destroyed an enemy aircraft on 10th May, two more on the 11th, probably destroyed a Me110 on the 18th and he shared a He111 and probably destroyed a Me109 on the 19th. He was awarded the DFC (gazetted 31st May 1940).
Over Dunkirk on 31st May Powell's oxygen failed at 19,000 feet and he fell to 5,000 feet before regaining consciousness. On this day he probably destroyed a Me109. On 2nd June he destroyed a Me109 and two more on the 7th. Powell damaged a Me109 on 25th July. He was posted away to 7 OTU Hawarden on 7th August 1940 as an instructor.
He formed and took command of 121 Squadron at Kirton-in-Lindsey on 14th May 1941, the second of three Eagle squadrons. He probably destroyed a Me109 on 18th August. Promoted to Acting Wing Commander on 17th January 1942, Powell was appointed leader of the Hornchurch Wing. On 28th March he probably destroyed a Fw190, on 24th April damaged another, on 17th May destroyed a Fw190 and on 2nd June probably destroyed another.
On a sweep over the French coast in June he was wounded in the neck and head, fracturing the base of his skull. He did not return to the Wing and was awarded a Bar to the DFC (gazetted 24th July 1942). Powell later served in Tunisia. Back in the UK, he claimed two V1 flying bombs destroyed on 5th July 1944. On 10th October Powell was injured in an accident, when his car collided with an Army lorry. His passenger was killed. On recovery he commanded 121 Typhoon Wing from April to August 1945.
He stayed in the RAF postwar, retiring on 6th November 1963 as a Group Captain. Powell died on 28th January 1970.
Powell-Sheddon, George (35-36C) Powell-Shedden was born at Cowes on April 1 1916 and educated at Wellington College, where he became a sergeant in the Officers' Training Corps. He entered the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, but then switched to the RAF College, Cranwell
where he was commissioned in 1936. The next year he was posted to No 47, a Vickers Vincent squadron based at Khartoum. In 1939 he was transferred to No 33, a fighter squadron equipped with Gloster Gladiator biplanes for policing Palestine. During the Battle of Britain he served as a flight commander in Group Captain Douglas Bader's 242 Squadron joining in June 1940 and the next summer fought against even greater odds in the defence of Malta. Though somewhat bulky for a Hurricane cockpit, and handicapped by a pronounced stutter, Powell-Shedden was recommended to Bader as "a very good type". "Stutters! Stutters!" Bader exploded "that's no damn good to me. What's going to happen over the radio in a fight?" Told that Powell-Shedden was a Cranwell man, though, Bader changed his mind. "Just the chap" he agreed "send him along".
As the battle raged across southern England from July to September Bader wheeled his controversial Duxford Big Wing of five fighter squadrons in defence of London. Powell-Shedden shot down at least four enemy aircraft. As fighting subsided at the end of the Battle's greatest day (September 15) there was consternation at Duxford as the wing counted its victories and losses: Powell-Shedden was missing. It transpired that he had shot down a Dornier bomber and was chasing another when a Me109 came out of cloud behind him and set his Hurricane on fire. While baling out he hit the tail and dislocated a shoulder. After the Battle of Britain Powell-Shedden was sent to No 258, another Hurricane squadron, as a flight commander; the next April he received his first command - that of 615, County of Surrey, an Auxiliary Air Force Hurricane squadron.
In July 1941 he was posted to the embattled island of Malta, where he formed the Malta Night Fighter Unit, a handful of Hurricanes working with searchlight and anti-aircraft gun crews. After adding two more kills to his score Powell-Shedden was awarded the DSO; the citation noted his "sterling work in the night defence of Malta", his "great and energetic organising ability" and his "courage and initiative in the air".
In January 1944, after further courses and staff appointments, he resumed operational flying with No 96, a Mosquito squadron, and then took command of No 29, a Mosquito squadron specialising in low-level night intruder missions before and after D-Day. He was given a Bar to his DSO for his leadership during many perilous missions with 100 Bomber Support Group. He was then appointed to command a succession of Mosquito intruder stations as a group captain. In 1952 he received command of RAF Jever in Germany and from 1954 to 1957 served on the operational staff at Naples, before concluding his service career at the Air Ministry.Powell-Shedden retired in 1961.
Roberts, David Neal (9-24B) Roberts joined the College in 1924 and after graduating he joined 39 squadron at Grantham in July 1926 flying DH9's and Westland Wapitis, he was sent to CFS, Wittering in September 1928 and then became an instructor at 2 FTS, Digby on December 19th.
He was posted to 504 squadron at Hucknall in August 1930 as a flying instructor, then in October 1931 he was posted to Kings College London University for a course on Russian language, followed by a special language leave for one year in Estonia. He passed out as a Russian interpreter. After a refresher course in early 1933 he joined 41 squadron at Northolt in March, as 'A' Flight Commander. Then in early 1935 he was sent to RAF Amman as Station Adjutant, then on July 24th was sent to 4 FTS, Abu Sueir, as a Flying Instructor and Flight Commander.
Whilst on leave from Egypt in 1938 he was posted to Air Staff at HQ Fighter Command. Then in June 1940 he was given the job of forming & commanding the Fighter Station and sector at Middle Wallop. During the Battle of Britain he flew with 609 squadron & 238 squadrons.
In November 1941 he was posted to become C/O of a fighter wing for special operations in North Africa.Then when the war with Japan started he was sent to Dutch East Indies.He was evacuated to India in early 1942, where he commanded the fighter defence for Calcutta and Eastern India. Later becoming C/O RAF Assam. In 1943 he was posted to Moscow as Air Attache and Head of the UK Air Mission. He returned to the UK in 1945 and became SASO at HQ Transport Command, then later same year joined 45 Group, Dorval in Canada.
He retired from the RAF in 1958 and Air Commodore David Neal Roberts CBE OBE AFC passed away in 2000.
Robinson, Maurice Wilbraham Sandford (1-29A)
Rothwell, John Hedley (4-39A) John Hedley Rothwell, from Brighton, was educated at Tonbridge School and entered RAF College, Cranwell in
April 1939, as a Flight Cadet. After the outbreak of war, the course was shortened and Rothwell passed out in March 1940 with a Permanent Commission.
On 28th August he joined 601 Squadron at Debden but was attached to 6 OTU, Sutton Bridge on 3rd September. After converting to Hurricanes Rothwell was posted to 32 Squadron on the 21st. He moved to 605 Squadron at Croydon on 12th October. Rothwell was killed on 22nd February 1941 when his Hurricane II Z2347 crashed near Littlehampton, possibly due to oxygen failure. He is buried in Poynings Cemetery, Sussex.
Sawyer, Henry Cecil (1-33C) Sawyer was educated at Dover College and entered RAF College, Cranwell in January 1933 as a Flight Cadet.
After graduation in December 1934, he joined 142 Squadron at Andover. He was posted to the staff of the Electrical and Wireless School at Cranwell on 30th May 1936 and moved to the staff of RAF College there on 16th July 1938. In early 1940 Sawyer was on the staff of 9 BGS. He was posted from there to 6 OTU, Sutton Bridge, arriving on 27th May 1940 for a refresher course. After converting to Spitfires he went to 7 OTU, Hawarden on 15th June, the day the unit was formed, as OC 'B' Flight. Sawyer was posted to 65 Squadron at Hornchurch on 2nd July 1940 and took command on the 8th.
He was killed on 2nd August when he crashed on take-off from Hornchurch on a night patrol in Spitfire R6799, which burned out. Sawyer was 25 ND was cremated at the City of London Crematorium, East Ham.
Shepley, Douglas Clayton (38- 39) Born in July 1918 in Carlton-in-Lindrick, Nottinghamshire. He moved to Woodthorpe Hall, Holmesfield, Derbyshire when he was eight years old. He joined his father's business before following his older brother George into the RAF in 1938. He entered the RAF College Cranwell as a
Flight Cadet and received his commission in late 1939. He was posted to 152 Squadron at RAF Acklington, Northumberland. The squadron received their first Spitfire Mark 1s in December of that year and were operational by early 1940. 152 Squadron flew south to RAF Warmwell in Dorset with the task of protecting the naval base at Portland. Douglas was married om 29th June 1940 at St John's Church in Sidcup, Kent to Frances, a young nurse.
During the Battle of Britain he claimed two confirmed victories,. both Bf109s, on the 8th and the 11th of August. On the 12th, Douglas Shepley and Flt Lt Latham Withall were both reported missing after a sortie off the isle of Wight. Douglas was flying Spitifre K9999 and Latham Spitfire P9456. Both pilots were reported lost at sea. He was 2 and is remembered on the Runnymede Memorial, Panel 10
After Douglas's death, his mother Emily and his widow Frances started raising moneu to buy a Spitfire for the RAF. They both worked energetically towards their target and with the help of citizens of North Derbyshire and South Yorkshire, they organised a variety of fund raising events such as dances, concerts, jumble sales and house to collections as well as collections in public houses, theatres and cinemas. Contributions came in from the Sheffield A.R.P who gathered donations from all their local posts. After 15 weeks of hard work they had achieved their Target of £5,700.
Spitfire W3649 was selected for the family, and the name 'SHEPLEY' was placed on the panel below the cockpit. Spitfire W3649 was a Mark Vb and was issued to 602 Squadron on the 16th August 1941, just over a year after the death of Douglas. The aircraft also served with 303 (Polish) Squadron before ending up with 485 (New Zealand) Squadron, and became the personal aircraft of Group Captain Victor Beamish DSO, DFC carry the code FV-B. Beamish was reported missing in the aircraft on 28 March 1942 over the Channel.
Pilots of the Battle of Britain by John G Bentley with Mark T Jones by Ravette Publishing 2010 part of Their Finest Hour Ltd
Smith, Christopher Dermot Salmond (9-34C) Smith of Overy Staithe, Norfolk was born in September 1916 at Bruton, Somerset and educated at Bradfield College. He entered RAF College Cranwell in September 1934 as a Flight Cadet.
After graduating in July 1936 he was posted to the School of Air Navigation, Manston for a course. He joined 220 (GR) Squadron at Bircham Newton on 29th November 1936. Smith went to A&AEE Martlesham Heath on 1st June 1938. He was involved with the development of airborne radar and for his service in that field he was awarded the DFC (gazetted 7th May 1940) He joined 25 Squadron at North Weald on 20th September 1940 as a Flight Commander. In November 1941 Smith took command of 79 Squadron at Fairwood Common, Wales. He was killed on 22nd December 1941 when his Hurricane IIB Z5255 collided with a He115 that he intercepted off Southern Ireland. Smith was 25 and is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, panel 28.
His only brother, S/Ldr. FM Smith, was killed aged 25 serving with 94 Squadron on 1st June 1940 when his Gladiator II N2291 crashed at Khormaksar during low level aerobatics. He is buried in Maala Cemetery, Aden (now Yemen).
Stephens, Maurice Michael (9-38C) Born in Ranchi, India on 20 October 1919, the son of a British Army Officer, Stephens was educated at the Xaverian Colleges at Clapham and Mayfield, Sussex. After school he initially joined the Port of London Authority, before going to the Royal Air Force College Cranwell in 1938. At Cranwell he excelled in boxing and rowing and was awarded his wings in 1940 Stephens' first posting was to No. 3 Squadron RAF, with whom he fought during the Battle of France. He became the Flight Commander of B Flight during this battle, while still holding the rank of Pilot Officer. On his return from France he was awarded the DFC and Bar, which were gazetted at the same time (and in fact on the same page of the London Gazette)
Distinguished Flying Cross
This officer has destroyed four enemy aircraft in May, 1940, and led his flight with courage and skill. Bar to the Distinguished Flying Cross This officer has continued to lead his flight against formations of enemy aircraft of much superior numbers with such good leadership that he rarely lost any members of his formation. In addition Pilot Officer Stephens brought down four more enemy aircraft recently, bringing his total to eight.
After the fall of France, B Flt was posted to Scotland and reformed as No. 232 Squadron RAF, of which Stephens was Commanding Officer. No 232 Sqn formed part of No. 13 Group RAF during the Battle of Britain. He was promoted Flying Officer on 20 August 1940 in the middle of the Battle.
He next served North Africa where he joined No 274 Squadron and was sent to Turkey for eight months, during which he flew operational patrols along the Bulgarian border. He twice intercepted Italian S-84 reconnaissance aircraft intruding across the border, and shot two down in a Turkish Hurricane, while wearing civilian clothes. In November 1941 he returned to the Western Desert to command No. 80 Squadron. He was shot down and wounded in both feet in December 1941, receiving a DSO in January 1942
In December, 1941, this officer led a bombing and machine-gun attack on enemy mechanical transport in the Acroma area. Following the attack, Squadron Leader Stephens observed the fighter escort in combat with a force of enemy fighters, but, whilst attempting to participate in the engagement, his aircraft was severely damaged by an enemy fighter pilot whose cannon fire exploded the starboard petrol tank which, with the oil tank, burst into flames. The same burst of fire wounded Squadron Leader Stephens in both feet and blew out the starboard side of the aircraft's cockpit. Squadron Leader Stephens then prepared to abandon aircraft but, when half-way out of the cockpit, he observed an enemy aircraft fly past him. He immediately regained his seat and shot down the enemy aircraft. Squadron Leader Stephens finally, left his crippled aircraft by parachute and landed safely on the ground where he beat out the flames from his
burning clothing. Although he had landed within 300 yards of the enemy's lines, Squadron Leader Stephens succeeded in regaining our own territory within three-quarters of an hour. Throughout, this officer displayed great courage and devotion to duty. Previously, Squadron Leader Stephens led his squadron on operations which were of the greatest value during the battle for Tobruk. His leadership and example proved an inspiration.
He then joined No. 229 Squadron flying Spitfires on Malta in October 1942. He was shot down on 12 October and picked up by an air-sea rescue motor launch. In November we became Wing Commander, Flying of Hal Far airfield. He returned to the UK in 1943 and served in various staff positions, before becoming CFI at 3 OTU in January 1944.
Stephens' final score in the war was 15 (and 3 shared) destroyed, 2 Unconfirmed destroyed, 1 probable and 5 damaged.
Stevenson, Peter Charles Fasken (9-38C) Stevenson was born at The Priest's House, Wellingore, Lincolnshire. His father Donald was at that time a Group Captain, holding a MC and DSO from service in the RFC in WW1, in 1939 he would be appointed ADC to King George V.
Peter was educated at Clifton College and entered RAF College Cranwell in September 1938 as a Flight Cadet. After the outbreak of war the
course was shortened and Stevenson graduated in December 1939. He joined 74 Squadron at Rochford on 15th February 1940.
Over Dunkirk on 22nd May Stevenson shared a Ju88 and on the 27th probably destroyed a Me109. On this day he was hit by return fire from a Do17 and made a forced-landing on the beach at Dunkirk in Spitfire L1084. He removed the blind-flying panel, reflector gunsight and radio before setting fire to the aircraft and going off to seek transport. He managed to get back to Hornchurch on the 31st. Finding the squadron gone, he then joined them at their new base at Leconfield. On 8th July Stevenson probably destroyed a Me109, on the 10th he probably destroyed a Me109 and damaged another and two Me110’s, on the 12th he shared a He111, on the 19th probably destroyed a Me109, on the 28th he probably destroyed a Me109 and damaged two others. On this day he was attacked by Oberleutnant Leppla whilst pursuing Major Molders of JG51 over the Channel and he landed at Mansion with the engine of his Spitfire seized. He was unhurt. Molders was wounded but managed to get back to France where he crash landed at Wissant. On 11th August Stevenson was shot down into the Channel one mile off Dover following a solo attack on twelve Me109’s, one of which he probably destroyed. He baled out of Spitfire P9393 and was rescued from the sea by an MTB, after drifting eleven miles out. He attracted the MTB's attention by firing his revolver. Stevenson was awarded the DFC (gazetted 27th August 1940) and posted away on 20th September 1940 to 5 OTU Aston Down as an instructor. He was killed on 13th February 1943, as a Flight Lieutenant with 64 Squadron, shot down during a sweep over the Boulogne area in Spitfire IX BR142. He is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, Panel 121.
Temlett, Cyril Bernard ( 9-38) Temlett entered Cranwell in September 1938 as a Flight Cadet. The outbreak of war caused the course to be shortened and Temlett enlisted in the RAFVR on 7th September 1939 as an Airman u/t Pilot. He graduated and was granted a Permanent Commission in December 1939.
He joined 4 (Army Co-operation) Squadron in France and served with it in the fighting in May 1940, flying Lysanders. The squadron was withdrawn in June. Temlett was awarded the DFC (gazetted 6th August 1940).
He volunteered for Fighter Command, converted to Hurricanes and joined 3 Squadron at Turnhouse on 27th September. He moved to 17 Squadron on 16th November 1940
In May 1941 Temlett was with 213 Squadron on board HMS Furious in the Mediterranean. The squadron flew off to Malta on the 21st and then flew on to Mersa Matruh. Temlett was with 'C' Flight, which was attached to 73 Squadron in the Western Desert. On 15th June he destroyed a Me109 and on the 26th damaged a Ju87.The squadron went to Nicosia in July and returned to the Western Desert in December 1941.
On 3rd July 1942 five Hurricanes of 213 were scrambled over Alamein. They were jumped by four Me109’s of I/JG27. Temlett and two other British pilots were killed and a fourth wounded.
The three Hurricane IIC's lost were BM981, BN128 and BN449.
Temlett is buried in El Alamein War Cemetery, Egypt.
Tillett, James (9-37) Tillett was the adopted son of Maud Reynolds of Courteenhall, Northamptonshire. He entered the College as a Cadet in September 1937. He was a student of St Lawrence's College, Ramsgate, and was a Flight Cadet Sergeant, his sports being athletics, cross country and hockey. He graduated from RAF Cranwell and was promoted to Pilot Officer with effect from 29 July 1939 and promoted to Flying Officer on 3 September 1940.
The squadron was scrambled on 6th November to intercept a German bomber force heading toward Portsmouth. Tillet’s aircraft, Hurricane V6814, was probably one of two shot down that day by Major Helmut Wick in a Messerschmitt Bf109. Eyewitnesses say that the Hurricane belly-landed in a field near Whitedell Farm, that Tillet was slumped over the controls and could not be got out of the aircraft before it caught fire. He is buried in Ann’s Hill Cemetery in Gosport. James Tillet was just 22 years old. enjoyed running and hockey and had attended St Lawrence’s College in Ramsgate.
A short time later, on 28th November, Major Wick was himself shot down and killed over the Isle of Wight. He too was young – 25 - though an air-ace credited with 56 ‘kills’ and a holder of the Iron Cross.
On the 7th September he was posted to 238 Squadron at St. Eval. He was shot down and killed, possibly by Major Helmut Wick, on 6th November 1940, his Hurricane V6814 coming down at Park Gate, Fareham.
Tillett is buried in Ann’s Hill Cemetery, Gosport
Tomlinson, Paul Anthony Tomlinson (9-39) was born on 3rd November 1921 and was educated at Tonbridge School. He entered Cranwell in September 1939 as a Flight Cadet. He did a shortened course and graduated on 21st July 1940 with a Permanent Commission. He joined 29
Squadron at Digby from 5 OTU Aston Down on 20th August Two days later, during an RDF trial flight, his Blenheim was struck by lightning. Tomlinson and his gunner were unhurt and returned safely.
He retired from the RAF in 1954 as a Squadron Leader.
© Battle of Britain London Monument Archive
Townsend, Peter Woodridge (9-33) Townsend joined entered Cranwell in 1933. He served in Training Command, and as a flying instructor at RAF Montrose. He was stationed at RAF Tangmere in 1937 and was a member of No. 43 Squadron RAF. The first enemy aircraft to crash on English soil during the Second World War fell victim to fighters from Acklington on 3 February 1940 when three Hurricanes of ‘B’ flight, No. 43
Squadron, shot down a Heinkel 111 of 4.G 26 near Whitby. The pilots were Flight Lieutenant Townsend, Flying Officer "Tiger" Folkes and Sergeant James Hallowes. Townsend was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) in April 1940. Two more He 111s were claimed by Townsend, on 22 February and 8 April, and a sixth share on 22 April. Enemy aircraft had been shot down in 1939 by the RAF from over Scotland's Scapa Flow shipyards during the Luftwaffe's first raid on Britain. By May 1940, Townsend was one of the most capable squadron leaders of the Battle of Britain, serving throughout the battle as commanding officer of No. 85 Squadron RAF, flying Hawker Hurricanes. On 11 July 1940 Townsend, flying Hurricane VY-K (P2716) intercepted a Dornier Do 17 of KG 2 and severely damaged the bomber, forcing it to crash land at Arras. Return fire from the Dornier hit the Hurricane coolant system and Townsend was forced to ditch 20 miles from the English coast, being rescued by HM Trawler Cape Finisterre. On 31 August, during combat with Bf 110s over Tonbridge, Townsend was shot down and wounded in the left foot by a cannon shell which went through the glycol tank and exploded in the cockpit. He continued to lead the unit on the ground even after this wound resulted in his big toe being amputated, and he returned to operational flying on 21 September. A Bar to his DFC was awarded in early September 1940. Townsend oversaw the conversion of No. 85 Squadron to night operations at RAF Hunsdon during early 1941. Awarded a Distinguished Service Order in April 1941, he later became commanding officer of RAF Drew in April 1942 and commanded No. 611 Squadron RAF, a Spitfire unit. Townsend was later leader of No. 605 Squadron RAF, a night fighter unit, and attended the staff college from October 1942. In January 1943, he was appointed commanding officer of RAF West Malling. His wartime record was 9 aircraft claimed destroyed (and 2 shared), 2 'probables' and 4 damaged.
He was promoted group captain in 1948. In August 1950, he was made deputy Master of the Household and was moved to comptroller to the Queen Mother in 1952. He retired from the Royal Household in the next year, and was air attaché in Brussels 1953 to 1956. He died 19 June 1995.
Tyson, Frank Hastings (1-30C) Tyson was born in Southport on 14th February 1912 and attended St. Philips School, from where he won a scholarship to King George V School. Tyson entered the College in January 1930 graduating in December 1931, Tyson joined 29 Squadron at North Weald.
He was posted to 802 (Fleet Fighter) Squadron on 2nd March 1933 based at Hal Far, Malta and at sea on HMS Glorious.
He was supernumerary at RAF Gosport on 22nd August 1935 and on 16th December he joined the staff at 7 FTS Peterborough. On 1st January 1937 Tyson was posted to 603 Squadron, Auxiliary Air Force at Turnhouse as flying instructor and Adjutant. He was posted away to HQ Fighter Command on 1st February 1939 for intelligence duties.
On 30th October Tyson went to Leconfield to form and command 245 Squadron. He was seriously injured in a motor accident three days later.
On recovery Tyson joined the Administrative Staff at HQ Coastal Command on 24th February 1940. On 22nd July he arrived at 5 OTU Aston Down from HQ Coastal Command. After converting to Hurricanes he joined 3 Squadron at Wick on 6th August as supernumerary Squadron Leader
He was given command of 312 Squadron at Duxford at its formation on 29th August. From 9th September he shared command with S/Ldr. Ambrus. The squadron became operational on 2nd October, being then based at Speke as part of Liverpool's defences. Tyson left the squadron in April 1941 when it became an all-Czech unit.
He was awarded the Czech Military Cross (gazetted 14th April 1942In September 1942 Tyson was Deputy Station Commander at Luqa, Malta. His subsequent service is currently undocumented until he retired from the RAF on 14th February 1962 as a Group Captain.
Tyson died on 30th December 1979.
Vigors, Timothy Ashmead
Warren, Charles (1-38C) Born on the 15th November 1918 at Witham, Essex, Warren was educated at St Crispin School and the Royal Grammar School, Colchester. Joining the RAF in January 1935, he attended No 1 School of Technical Training RAF Halton (31st entry). Charles Warren was awarded a Flight Cadetship to RAF College Cranwell in January 1938; he was promoted to Flight Cadet Sergeant and gained a College Blue for fencing. The course was shortened due to war being declared and Warren was transferred to the RAFVR as an airman u/t Pilot
on September 7th 1939, on 5 shillings a day. He then graduated to a Permanent Commission on October 1st, being posted on the same day to 152 Squadron which was reforming an establishment at Acklington. The squadron became operational on the 6th January 1940, and commenced patrols/scrambles off the north east coast. On the 12th July, the squadron was placed under 10 Group and moved to Warmwell in Dorset under the command of W/Cdr Devitt. The Battle of Britain officially commenced on the 10th of July 1940 and P/O Warren, along with the other pilots of 152 Squadron, was soon in the thick of it.
During the Battle of Britain Flying Officer Warren took part in over 50 ‘scrambles’ and many patrols. He was promoted to Flying Officer on the 1st October 1940.
At the end of his tour Warren was awarded the DFC on 19.9.43, the citation reading;
‘Following an arduous operational tour during the Battle of Britain he changed to Bomber Aircraft during which as Flight Commander displayed considerable skill and courage whilst on operational sorties to some of the most heavily defended objectives. He is a cool and courageous pilot, who by his personal example has sustained the high morale and fighting spirit of the flight’.
He died on 19th October 2005.
Watling, William Charles (9-39) Watling was born in Middlesborough on 22nd February 1920 but his family later settled in Guernsey and he attended Elizabeth
College there from 1936 to 1939. He excelled at Athletics. He entered Cranwell in September 1939 as a flight cadet. The course was suspended on the outbreak of war and he was transferred to the RAFVR as an Airman u/t Pilot, but still at Cranwell. After completing his flying training he graduated with a Permanent Commission on 14th July 1940 and joined 92 Squadron at Pembrey on the 20 August 1940. He was then posted straight to 5 OTU Aston Down to convert to Spitfires and did not return to 92 till 2nd August.He claimed a share in the destruction of a Ju88 on 13/14th August. He was shot down in combat with enemy aircraft over East Guldeford near Rye on 9th September in Spitfire P9372 and baled out, badly burned on face and hands. Returning to flying after recovering from his burns Watling probably destroyed a Me109 on 2nd November and damaged another on 1st December. He was killed on 7th February 1941, still with 92. Two Spitfires, including Watling in R6924, took off from Manston in the morning for a weather test. Visibility was extremely bad and his aircraft flew into high ground near Deal. Watling was 20 years old and is buried in St. Mary Cray Cemetery, Orpington, Kent.
Watson, Arthur Roy (9-39) Watson, from Nottingham, was educated at the High School there. He entered RAF College Cranwell in September 1939 as a Flight Cadet. The scheme was suspended after the outbreak of war and Watson enlisted in the RAFVR in October 1939 as an Airman u/t Pilot at FTS Cranwell.
After a shortened course he graduated in July 1940 with a Permanent Commission and joined 152 Squadron at Warmwell.On 15th September Watson claimed a He111 destroyed and on the 27th a Ju88 and a Me110. He may have been shot down in this engagement and wounded. He went on sick leave and did not fly operationally again till October 1940.Arthur Roy Watson, from Nottingham, was educated at the High School there. He entered RAF College Cranwell in September 1939 as a Flight Cadet. The scheme was suspended after the outbreak of war and Watson enlisted in the RAFVR in October 1939 as an Airman u/t Pilot at FTS Cranwell.
After a shortened course he graduated in July 1940 with a Permanent Commission and joined 152 Squadron at Warmwell.
On 15th September Watson claimed a He111 destroyed and on the 27th a Ju88 and a Me110. He may have been shot down in this engagement and wounded. He went on sick leave and did not fly operationally again till October 1940.
He was shot down in combat with Me109's on 28th November 1940. He baled out but fell dead after his parachute failed to develop. His Spitfire, R6597, crashed near Wareham.
The diary of P/O Dennis Fox-Male contains a disturbing account of Watson's loss:
.....his number 2, Doc, was gliding out of formation with some glycol streaming from his tank.
Boy turned on his back and followed the 109 down. Soon we heard him say that he had shot the enemy plane down into the sea. The squadron re-grouped and soon we were ordered to return to Warmwell and land.
It was a shock to learn from one of the pilots that Doc had bailed out but his parachute had failed to open properly and he was killed when he hit the ground.
It was a custom in the squadron if you landed safely by parachute to give the Corporal in charge of the parachute packing section the princely sum (in those days) of ten shillings. Our corporal, although he looked rather gormless, had a good reputation and was extremely conscientious. We all admired and thanked him - as we had t
He was terribly upset at Doc Watson’s failure to open his parachute and of course there was an enquiry. I have read in a book and in Boy’s mess diary that he bungled the opening but from discussions in the squadron, after the investigation, I do not think that this was accurate.
We were always instructed to check our parachutes first thing every day. The vital thing was to undo the 'poppers' over the flap which covered and protected the pin in the back of the parachute. When the rip cord was pulled it jerked the pin out of its metal holder and the parachute unfolded. It was essential to make sure that the pin was straight and not bent.
I was told that Doc’s pin was found to be bent right back - as far as you can bend your index finger- and in trying to pull the bent pin out he had in the end ripped the whole patch out - too late for the parachute to open.
The implication is that the parachute was sabotaged but of course as stated above it was the pilot's responsibility to check the ripcord mechanism.
Watston was 19 years old. He is buried in Nottingham Southern Cemetery.
Way, Basil Hugh (1-37A) Way, of Hinton St George, Somerset was educated at Malvern College before entering the RAF College, Cranwell in January 1937 as a flight cadet. Whilst there he won the Groves Memorial Prize as the best all-round pilot. On graduation in December 1938 Way was posted to 54 Squadron at Hornchurch. On February 13th 1940 he shared in destroying a He111 off the north Kent coast. In May he was appointed 'B' Flight Commander and over Dunkirk on the 25th and 26th he probably destroyed two Me110’s.
On 3rd July Way shared a Do17, on the 8th he claimed a Me109 destroyed and shared another, on the 24th two probable Me109’s and on the 25th another Me109 destroyed. Immediately after this victory Way was shot down and killed, crashing into the Channel in Spitfire R6707.
Way was 22 years old. He is buried in Oostdunkerke Communal Cemetery, Belgium.
Widdows, Stanley Charles (9-29A) Widdows was born at Bradfield, Berkshire on 4th October 1909 and educated at St Bartolomew's School, Newbury. He joined the RAF in September 1926 as an Aircraft Apprentice and passed out in August 1929 as a Fitter.
He was awarded a cadetship at the RAF College, Cranwell and entered as a Flight Cadet there on 20th September 1929. He had initially failed the required medical examination due to hearing loss but subsequent investigation revealed a piece of cotton wool embedded in one ear since his childhood. On graduation on 24th July 1931, Widdows was posted to 43 Squadron at Tangmere. In 1932 he served with 29 Squadron at North Weald.
On 28th February 1933 he went to 45 Squadron at Helwan, Egypt moving in November to 47 Squadron at Khartoum. Widdows was then posted to RAF Ramleh, Palestine on 14th August 1936. He returned to the UK in 1937 and on 1st September went as a test pilot to A&AEE, Martlesham Heath, where he carried out extensive performance tests on the first production Hurricane, L1547, and the first production Spitfire, K9787. He married his wife Irene, known as Nickie, on the eve of the declaration of war in a small church in Woodbridge, Suffolk, on 2nd September 1939. Widdows arrived at 6OTU, Sutton Bridge on 6th July 1940 from A&AEE for a refresher course. He moved to 5OTU, Aston Down on the 14th, converted to Blenheims and was posted to 29 Squadron at Digby on the 15th, taking command next day. He destroyed a Ju88 at night on 13th March 1941 which crashed at Smiths Farm, Dovedale near Louth, Lincolnshire. He was awarded the DFC (gazetted 4th April 1941 ). In the early hours of 7th May 1941 Widdows encountered a Ju88 over the English Channel. His Beaufighter was badly damaged by return fire and Widdows ordered his radar operator, Sergeant B Ryall, to bale out. He managed to get the aircraft back to base but a search found no trace of Ryall. Widdows was posted away in June 1941 to command RAF West Malling. In 1942 he became Group Captain Night Ops at HQ 11 Group and 12 Group. He was SASO 85 Group in 1943/44 and Group Captain Organisation at Supreme HQ Allied Expeditionary Forces later in 1944. Widdows held a series of appointments and commands in the post-war years. He was made a CB in 1959 and retired from the RAF on 29th December 1958, as an Air Commodore. He and his family later settled in Guernsey. His 100th birthday on 4th October 2009 was marked by his family presenting him with a bronze statue commissioned from the sculptor Paul Day. The figurine is a scale replica of Paul Day’s central section of the London Battle of Britain Monument unveiled in September 2005 on Victoria Embankment in London. Mr & Mrs Widdows attended the unveiling which was carried out by Prince Charles. It was revealed on his birthday that Charles Widdows was the oldest surviving pilot from the Battle of Britain. His reply - 'Well, it goes to show what a drop of whisky every day can do'.
Wildblood, Timothy Seddon (1-38B) Wildblood was born in Egypt on 3rd March 1920, the only son of Brigadier FH Wildblood DSO.
Wildblood was educated at Colmes Rectory, Alton from 1926 to 1928, The Towers, Crowthorne from 1928 to 1933 and Wellington College from 1933 to 1937. He won a King's Cadetship to the RAF College, Cranwell and entered 'B' Squadron there on 1st January 1938. On graduation, Wildblood joined 152 Squadron on 1st October 1939, then forming at Acklington with Gladiators. On 27th February 1940, with P/O JSB Jones, Wildblood shared in the destruction of a He111 which crashed into the sea 10 miles off Coquet Island, Northumberland.
The Heinkel was a He 111H-3 from 3/KG26 operating from Schleswig, the crew being: Hptmn Hans-Joachim Helm - KIA, Uffz. Karl Lassnig - KIA, Uffz. Heinrich Buchisch - Missing, Ofw. Artur Thiele - Missing, Gef.r Walter Rixen - Missing
ildblood claimed a Me109 destroyed on 11th August 1940, a Me110 on the 12th and a Ju87 and another shared on the 18th. He failed to return from combat over the Channel on 25th August in Spitfire R6994.
Wilkinson, Rodney Levett (1-29B) Wilkinson, of Rotherfield, Sussex was born in Shrewsbury on 23rd May 1910 and educated at Wellington College. He entered the RAF College, Cranwell in January 1929 as a flight cadet. On graduation in December 1930 he joined 3 Squadron at
Upavon. On 1st October 1932 Wilkinson was posted to the staff of HQ Transjordan and Palestine in Jerusalem where he was personal assistant to the AOC, Sir Wilfrid Freeman. In January 1934 he was made PA to the AOC Middle East, AVM Newall. He returned to the UK in 1934 and joined the Station Flight at Duxford on 22nd 0ctober, operating as an instructor to Cambridge University Air Squadron. He moved to the staff of CFS, Upavon on 19th April 1937. He then took up an Air Ministry post in January 1939.After a refresher course at 5 OTU Aston Down in June 1940 where he converted to Spitfires Wilkinson was given command of 266 Squadron at Wittering on 6th July 1940. He claimed a Do17 destroyed on 12th August and a Ju88 on the 15th. On the 16th in combat over Deal it is believed that he collided with a Me109, possibly that flown by Uffz. Bruder of 4/JG51 who baled out. But Wilkinson was killed when his Spitfire, R6768, crashed and burned out at Eastry Court.Wilkinson was 30. He is buried in Margate Cemetery, Kent.
Williams, Cedric Watcyn (9-29B) Williams was born in South Wales and educated at Maesydderwen County School.
He joined the RAF in September 1926 as an Aircraft Apprentice and passed out in August 1929 as a Fitter. He was awarded a cadetship at RAF College Cranwell and entered there as a Flight Cadet in September 1929. On graduation in July 1931 he joined 32 Squadron at Kenley. He was posted to 84 Squadron at Shaibah, Iraq on 28th February 1933. Williams returned to the UK in early 1935 and on 20th February he joined the staff at 3 Armament Training Camp at Sutton Bridge. On 30th March 1936 Williams went to the staff at RAF College, Cranwell and moved to the Deputy Directorate of Intelligence at Air Ministry on 14th July 1938.
He arrived at 5 OTU Aston Down on 23rd June 1940 for a refresher course. After converting to Hurricanes Williams took command of 17 Squadron at Debden on 18th July. He claimed a Do17 destroyed on 18th August, shared two Ju88's on the 21st, shared a He111 on the 24th and destroyed a Me110 on the 25th. In this last engagement Williams was killed when his port mainplane was shot off in a head-on attack by a Me110. His Hurricane, R4199, crashed into the sea.
Williams, who was 30, was not found and is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, Panel 4.
Wood, John Edward Randell (1-39B) Killed in Action 8 July 1940 79 Squadron Bailed out badly burnt DoW Buried Hawkinge Cemetery Plot O Row 1 Grave 7. His death was 2 days before the official recognition of the start of the Battle of Britain.
Worrall John (1-30A) l entered the College in 1930 and graduated on 19 December 1931, He represented the RAF College at Hockey. Worrall initially joined No. 1 Squadron, and then transferred to 208 Squadron on 28 February 1933. In 1936, he went to China, where he attended the School
of Oriental Studies at Peking University.
At the outbreak of the Second World War Worrall was recalled and posted to No. 32 Squadron RAF in May 1940. While based at Biggin Hill and Hawkinge, Worrall participated in the Battle of Britain, commanding No. 32 Squadron. Under his leadership, by the end of August 1940, No. 32 Squadron had claimed 71 enemy aircraft shot down for five pilots killed. By the end of August, No. 32 Squadron had destroyed 102 enemy aircraft In early August 1940 Worrall was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC).Soon afterwards Worrall became a Fighter Controller at Biggin Hill's control room.
Worrall's only personal score was a half share, made on 31 August 1940. He was shot down only once on 20 July 1940, obliging him to a forced landing near Hawkinge in Hurricane Mk. I, N2532.
In March 1944 W/C Worrall was SASO/HQ, No 216 Group.
In July 1945 Worrall became Senior Personnel Staff Officer at HQ, Transport Command. He continued to serve in the RAF after the war, eventually rising to the rank of Air Vice-Marshal. He retired on 1 January 1963.
Following retirement from the RAF, Worrall became Managing Director of The Advertising Agency Poster Bureau Ltd in 1964 and 1965.
Worsdell, Kenneth Wilson (4-38B)
Worsdell - Aged 20 from Bracknell & Sgt. Eric Cecil Gardiner - Aged 27 from Ponefract both these young men lost their lives on what is officially known as the last day of the Battle of Britain. On the night of 30th October 1940, Beaufighter 1F R2065 took off from RAF Redhill on a routine patrol. On the return flight and whilst attempting to locate RAF Redhill the Beaufighter hit beech trees and exploded on impact at Balcombe Place.
Wright, Allan Richard (4-38C) Group Captain Allan Richard Wright DFC AFC (born 20 Feb 1920) was a British Royal Air Force flying ace of the Second World War. Wright scored 11 kills, three shared kills, five probable kills and seven damaged against the Luftwaffe.Wright served with
92 Squadron throughout 1940, and is one of The Few, having flown as a Flying Officer with No. 92 Squadron RAF during the Battle of Britain and is one of the surviving aircrew of this Battle. Wright was born in Devon on 12 February 1920. He entered RAF College Cranwell as a Flight Cadet in April 1938. After training he was posted to 92 Squadron at Tangmere on 27 October. Over Dunkirk on 23 May 1940 he claimed a Bf 110 destroyed and two damaged, on the 24th a 'probable' He 111 and on 2 June another Bf 109. During the Battle of Britain he shared a He 111 destroyed on 14 August, a KG 27 He 111 at night over Bristol on 29 August, a He 111 and Bf 109 'probable' on 11 September, a Bf 109 damaged on the 14th, a Bf 109 'probable' on the 15th, a Ju 88 'probable' on the 19th, a Do 17 on the 26th, a Ju88 on the 27th, and two Bf 109s on the 30th. On 30 Sept he was shot down and wounded near Brighton by a Bf 109 of JG 27 and hospitalised. The award of the DFC was made on 22 October 1940. On 6 December 1940 he destroyed a Bf 109. By July 1941 Wright had received a bar to the DFC. He was posted to 59 OTU in July 1941. Service with HQ Fighter Command and as an instructor followed until being posted to 29 Squadron at West Malling in March 1943, where as a night fighter he destroyed a Ju 88 on 3 April.Remaining in the RAF post-war, he retired as a Group Captain on 12 February 1967
lan was regarded as one of Robert Stanford Tuck`s right hand men with Bob Holland, another fighter ace on 92 Squadron. Died 16 September 2015
Yule, Robert Duncan (4-38A) The son of a dental surgeon, Robert Yule was born in Invercargill New Zealand on January 29 1920.
In early 1938 he won a scholarship to RAF College, Cranwell, and began the course there in April. The outbreak of war caused the normal syllabus to be shortened and Yule joined 145 Squadron, a newly reformed fighter unit on Blenheims, in September 1939. In March 1940 the unit received its first Hurricanes and during May its pilots found themselves ferrying Hurricanes to France and assisting the Squadrons there. Yule took part in 145’s first
action of the war on 18 May. On patrol over Brussels twelve He III’s were intercepted in broken cloud. When the German bombers emerged from cover the Hurricanes attacked, Yule shooting one down. Four days later he destroyed a Ju 87. The squadron flew daily patrols during the evacuation from Dunkirk and Yule claimed a Bf 110 destroyed on 1 June 1940. His next victory was a month later when he shared in the destruction of a Do 17 near Brighton.During the Battle of Britain Yule destroyed a Ju88 and damaged three more, probably destroyed a Bf 110 and shared in the destruction of two Do 17’s. On October 25 he was himself shot down by Bf 109's in a combat over Kent and was admitted to hospital with leg wounds after making a forced landing which completely wrote off his Hurricane. He rejoined 145 Squadron in mid-February 1941 but a month later was posted away to be an instructor. Yule helped instruct some American pilots, very much under secrecy because the USA was still neutral. n early November 1941 he returned to operations with 501 Squadron and remained with the unit for seven months and many operational sorties. He was awarded the DFC in April 1942 and was promoted to Squadron Leader in June to take command of 66 Squadron, (a Spitfire unit). On 15 July 1942 whilst leading a squadron sweep over the Cherbourg area Yule engaged in combat with two FW 190's. He destroyed one, which exploded and crashed into the sea, and the other was last seen flying inland with its engine smoking. On 19 August he led the squadron twice over Dieppe during the Combined Operations raid. With his tour completed, Yule was posted to staff duties in mid-November 1942 and awarded a Bar to his DFC. He was promoted to Wing Commander in early August 1943 to lead the Detling Wing. Yule claimed his final victory on 6 January 1944 - another FW 190. After leading the Wing on many operational sorties he was posted away in early March and awarded the DSO. Yule now went on to planning duties, involving fighter wings of the 2nd Tactical Air Force in the coming invasion. He continued with these duties into 1945 and at war’s end was on a RAF Staff College course.While rehearsing for the Battle of Britain flypast over London on 11 September 1953, Yule collided with another jet aircraft. Faced with a densely-populated area, Yule steered his aircraft towards Woolwich Arsenal and crash-landed between rows of buildings. Some workers were injured and Yule was killed. His selfless action undoubtedly saved many lives.
The Battle of Britain - Rollcall